Iraq Sees Larger NATO Role to Cut US Involvement

No combat troops, no use of Iraqi airspace

Iraq has been struggling with the issue of US military presence in their country in recent weeks. A parliamentary vote calling for the expulsion of the US led to threats from President Trump, including seizing an account containing 90% of Iraq’s government revenue.

Iraqi officials are working on a new idea that might work, however, which is inviting NATO to take a larger direct role, shifting that focus to training. The goal would be to have no foreign combat troops in Iraq, and no one using Iraqi airspace.

The idea is more NATO involvement, with nations like France, UK, and Canada, and the US taking a substantially smaller role. Getting the US out of combat and airspace operations would, optimally, end US airstrikes on Iraqi targets.

US officials may not go for that, however, saying they believe that any change to their military operation in Iraq has to come with a renegotiation of the entire strategic relationship, including any aid Iraq might get, and whether the US is going to be generally reimposing sanctions and other measures on them.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of