The United States and Iraqi Military delegations met recently and discussed the ways and means for withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. The Iraqi Military delegation was led by the Deputy Commander of the Iraqi Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Al-Shammari, while the US side was represented by the head of the coalition forces, Major General John Brennan. As the first step, the joint committee decided to reduce the foreign contingent at two military bases in Anbar province and near the city of Erbil in Kurdistan by the end of September this year. Presently, more than 2,500 American soldiers and about 3,000 troops of other countries, particularly NATO allies are stationed on the territory of the republic of Iraq. According to reports, the joint committee also considered the transfer of US troops to the position of instructors and advisers’ level. As per the agreement, the remaining troops will train units of the National Armed Forces of Iraq, as well as aid in intelligence and planning of operations against ISIS. It was said that during the negotiations the parties confirmed that the presence of a foreign military contingent in the republic was justified by the invitation of the Iraqi government.
In fact, American troops and allied Forces entered Iraq without any invitation but invaded the republic of Iraq in the ploy of discovering weapons of mass destruction on Iraqi soil during 2003. After ruining the Iraqi sovereignty, American and NATO troops had been fighting with pro Saddam Forces and Mehdi Militia for years. Later, the menace of ISIS appeared in the country and endangered the world peace through its barbaric ideology and inhumane acts of terrorism. The allied troops in Iraq helped the Iraqi military with the fight against ISIS, however, the Kurd Shia militia played a significant role in defeating ISIS which was trained and armed by the US Forces.
The government and people of Iraq had been urging the United States to pull out its troops from Iraqi soil over the years, however after the killing of commander of Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps -Qods Force, Major General Qasem Soleimani, during his visit to Iraq in January 2020. The Republic of Iraq made a formal request to the United States for withdrawal of its troops from its land. A preliminary agreement on the withdrawal of foreign troops was reached during the visit of Prime Minister of Iraq, Mustafa Al-Kazimi, to Washington DC in July this year. While a high-level Iraqi delegation also visited the United States to discuss modalities regarding troops evacuation during the same days. According to the plan, this process was to be completed by December 31, 2021.
ISIS sleeper cells have been attacking the soft targets in Iraq during recent months, however after the announcement of US evacuation from Iraq, the frequency of the attacks have increased many folds. Therefore, the regional experts fear a repeat of the situation in Afghanistan, in the wake of US withdrawal from the Middle Eastern country during the coming days. According to US’s critics, Americans did not invest in the real development of the two militaries, and the Iraqi military is also not capable of dealing with the post US threats in the country. In fact, the self-sufficiency of allies does not suit the US interests therefore American Strategists used to keep their partners reliant on them.