Iraq: We Want American Security Partnership

Iraq plans to propose one final extension to the UN Security Council mandate for the American deployment, the AP reports this morning. After the end of 2008, Iraq wants to directly negotiate a bilateral security arrangement with the US similar to that of Kuwait and Qatar:

Iraq wants the U.N. Security Council to extend the mandate of the 160,000-stong U.S.-led multinational force in Iraq only through the end of 2008, then replace it with a long-term bilateral security agreement, Foreign Ministry officials said Saturday.
Aides to Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said the mandate extension for the U.S.-led coalition, due to be discussed at the end of this year, would be “the last extension for these forces.”
Iraq would then seek a long-term, bilateral security agreement with the United States like the ones Washington has with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and Egypt, he said.
“Iraq needs a new resolution to determine the shape of the relationship between the two countries and how to cooperate with the U.S. forces,” said Labid Abawi, a deputy foreign minister.

The Iraqis want to move beyond what everyone sees as a temporary arrangement to something more permanent with the US. This will effectively take the UN out of the equation, but at the same time, it will give Nouri al-Maliki the initiative to negotiate a draw-down of American forces. That will satisfy demands from the Shi’te coalitions in his government while maintaining enough security to keep Iraq stable.
This could take the pressure off of the Bush administration, too. First, it indicates that the Maliki government has enough confidence in the development of Iraqi security forces that it can rely on them in 2008. It also changes the nature of the debate over the Iraq deployment. Even the Democratic candidates won’t commit to having all of the combat troops out by 2013, but this changes the ground conditions for the debate. If we negotiate a bilateral security agreement on the request of the Iraqis, all of those conditions would get settled in the negotiations, and it will be conditioned on Iraq’s demands.
A bilateral security arrangement will also change the dynamics of the international debate. Our status in Iraq will change from occupation to partner, with Iraqi sovereignty helping to settle the nature of our work. The relationship will resemble that of our other partnerships in the region, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and therefore less open to criticism.
It’s a good development, and it will help reduce the vitriol over our engagement in Iraq. It will also ratify our present security arrangement and help keep the pressure on the terrorists for another year, during which we can hope to break them down completely. This is a positive step forward for both Iraq and the US.

12 thoughts on “Iraq: We Want American Security Partnership”

  1. You forget to mention the effect that this kind of arrangement will have on Iraq’s relations with its neighbors… no longer will it be ‘the Little Country That Could” or some such, they will be on equal terms with the others. Okay, not Iran… but since when has Iraq yearned for Iran’s blessings.
    My point is that by mentioning the agreements we have with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, etc, the Iraqi Government is reminding the other members of the Arab Street that cooperation with Americans is not an Iraqi model, it’s a regional model. It’s a great little move in the war of words against the radical islamists who claim that Iraq is in league with the Devil or some such while the other nations remain pure.
    I wonder how much ‘play’ this will get in the world Media?

  2. I’m not sure how this has any practical meaning at this point — the Iraqi government, still barely a newborn state, requires extensive American military presence in its own capital city in order to survive, and this this agreement merely extends its “umbilical cord” into the future.

  3. This move is very wise. It removes much of the press’ constant anti-American yapping; should give Maliki more prestige; helps the Iraqi people move forward.
    All in all, a good move.

  4. TME — You left out “running dog”… or is that buzzword no longer operative since MacAuliffe left?

  5. Oh, goody. Nouri gets to “negotiate” with Guiliani.
    As to his rabid ravings about “contractors,” … it’s now back to “kissy face.” As Blackwater has made Baghdad, and other violent enclaves, safe enough to move convoys through.
    And, again, Bush had plans put into place, to deal with the GLOBAL aspect of the WAR ON TERROR.
    Go ahead. Look at a map! We’ve done wonders in Pakistan, forcing out the A-Q camps. Put them on the run. (They ran to Tora Bora. Where they’re continuously pounded.)
    Since we have satellites, I’ll bet Americans and Israelis are fully aware of the successes, in the various fields. WHich now include iran and syria; still smarting from getting smacked this summer.
    You could wonder if hollywood will ever catch up? But its stars are as aging as Elizabeth Taylor. Her legs no longer work. But she still likes to get “plugged up.” And, has a new boyfriend. Whose stature she measured “because he bought her a home in Hawaii. Whatever.
    There’s a great possibility that not only has America been winning BRILLIANTLY in our wars against terrorist entities; it’s also possible that with today’s computer equipment, you, too, can direct films? Why pay the union rate in hollywood? You wouldn’t gain all that much from being there.
    Up ahead? The changes will begin appearing. Perhaps, slowly? Perhaps, at a goodly pace. No one can really “call” the future with any degree of accuracy.
    But there’s a good chance that Irak’s for the “long haul.” WHere smart people want the same dish we gave germany. Bases. Hospitals. Schools. A “mecca” for tourism, too.
    Why not? Life began at Er. And, life continues.
    My guess is that who-ever gets elected to be the next president; will have a fully detailed SUCCESS story to discuss with the American People.
    As to the Bonkeys? Well, it seems a judge is allowing the libel/slander lawsuit against Murtha to proceed.
    You thought the only bad news from congress will deall with Wide-Stance Larry? Don’t be naive.
    I do expect to see a whole lot of senatorial scrambling, ahead, going on. (Like a loose football in superbowl play.)

  6. Ray Robison has a really intriguing post at The American Thinker, which if accurate, will cause The Mechanical Eye to burst into a veritable flood of tears and Rodham Clinton and Ron Paul to pee their pants.
    A tiny excerpt….
    In addition, the leader of the Pakistani jihadist groups, Maulana Fazlur Rahman, was notified a few months ago that he was on a Dead Pool style list of people that al Qaeda wanted assassinated. Rahman came to our attention in captured Iraqi documents as the go between for Saddam and the Taliban arranging military and security agreements between the two in 1999. (Our book Both In One Trench: Saddam’s Secret Terror Documents will be available on in a few weeks
    I mentioned before that he had turned over al Qaeda associated terrorists to the Libyan government and this had made him an enemy of al Qaeda.
    He is probably the most responsible for turning the Taliban — which he had a significant hand in creating — against al Qaeda. Which means, …
    Well it may mean a lot, including the possibility that all of those suffering from BDS and cheering for defeat in Iraq may be in for a real shock and it might a good time to invest in whatever company makes valium.

  7. total horsehockey captain.
    you are debating a difference without a distinction!
    you say Tomoto I say Tomato.
    pig with lipstick is still a pig.
    – keep grasping at those straws, its fun to watch and read at least.

  8. This is an important step toward Iraqi self-determination. The proper process is step-by-step and matches the Iraqis’ growing ability to self-govern. They haven’t any experience in self-governance and the skills aren’t going to materialize at the whim of a candidate, pundit or party in the US.
    John Kerry’s denialism notwithstanding, those of us with memories and a sense a history recall the devastation that followed when we did a cut-and-run on Vietnam. If you find that unfathomable, perhaps you need to meet some of my Vietnamese friends.

  9. Harry and Nancy & Co. felt free to jerk the rug out from under Colombia, so sovereign democratic Iraq shouldn’t feel any more secure.

  10. Sinan Salaheddin, al-AP: “Iraq needs a new resolution to determine the shape of the relationship between the two countries and how to cooperate with the U.S. forces,” said Labid Abawi, a deputy foreign minister.
    Libs often whine that they don’t know “what victory in Iraq MEANS”. Well, here’s one thing you’ll see: an Iraq that negotiates with the US on security matters as an equal partner.
    This is a welcome development as it indicates that (as Cap’n Ed writes) that the Iraqi government seems to have increasing confidence in the ability of its own troops to provide security with a decreasing amount of US support.
    Progress continues to come.

  11. Explains why none of the Dems would committ to withdrawl in their lifetime in the last debate.
    Suggestion, close some bases in Murthas district if he has any and open one in Iraq maybe close Germany also.
    Oh sure Bagdad Bob aka. (Harry Reid) still thinks the war is lost so what so is little Harry. Approval single digits yet?
    Hope we have those asshat clowns on tape advocating surrender at all costs especially Monicas boyfriends wife.
    Could be usefull in the upcoming presidential elections to remind the voters who the white flag wavers were since they already surrendered on surrender and their allies in the MSM will try to help most of the population forget.

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