US Troop Levels Finally Up for Talks at US-Iraq Meeting

US expects Iraq will allow them to stay

Many months after the Iraqi parliament voted unanimously to expel US forces, the question of future troop levels is finally up for discussion at this weeks talks.

Iraq is driven by trying to avoid hosting a US-Iran proxy war, and sees not hosting US troops as the path of least resistance. US officials took permanent basing in Iraq as a given and are willing to do anything to Iraq to protect that.

This was why Trump threatened sanctions worse than Iran for the very suggestion the US should pullout. Even then, there was no consideration of leaving.

This is also why these talks cover the full US-Iraq relationship and not just troop levels. This allows the US to threaten cuts everywhere else if they don’t get what they want.

Pentagon officials say they expect Iraq will at least let them stay through the “final final victory” over ISIS. But again, there is no suggestion the US might actually leave after that.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.