US, Iraq Plan June Talks on Future of Troop Presence

Pompeo confirmed US presence will be on the table in talks

Iraq’s parliament voted unanimously to expel US and other foreign troops from the country earlier this year. The US has largely ignored this fact, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says this is going to be a subject for major talks between the US and Iraq in June.

The mid-June talks, according to Pompeo, will include broad strategic dialogue, and that the entire US military presence in Iraq will be on the table for discussion. Pompeo set the stage for rejecting that, saying it would risk gains against ISIS.

Still, the US has long refused to even acknowledge that the parliament vote happened, and had claimed not to have been asked to leave. President Trump had threatened to sanction Iran for the request, but mostly the US just decided not to leave.

That talks are being planned may suggest the US believes the current Iraqi interim government will not push the issue too much, though anti-government protesters have wanted all foreign troops out, particularly US and Iranian, and they’ll likely object if the talks don’t address this in a serious way.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.