Iraq Will Dictate American Withdrawal?

(See here) an Associated Press piece that appears at the Jerusalem Post website that reports the Iraqi government is wanting to spread its wings and assert its authority over the issue of a continuing presence of American forces in Iraq.

I am open for the "will of the Iraqi people" to be represented at the table during any discussion of how long American forces will remain in Iraq. However I am mindful of the fact that the minority Sunni portion of the population is under represented in the current Iraqi government.

If the Iraqi government wants to be understood as being the "last and final" representative of the will of the Iraqi people, they need to engineer and hold new elections whereby the Sunni portion of their population is once again offered the chance to seize adequate representation within the government. Absent such efforts to provide proper inclusion of the Sunni perspective will be weighed against the concerns of that segment of the population when negotiating with the existing government.

I am intrigued by one gauntlet thrown down by the Iraqi foreign minister. One aspect that he would include in negotiations. The aspect is that, as long as the presence of US troops is endured, he would insist:
There will be negotiations about the conduct of these (US) troops and their rights, privileges and also questions of command and control...

I would be willing to only slightly compromise on this issue. While in Iraq, US forces would remain under the command and control of American leaders. Perhaps I would be willing to agree to the US only establishing "safe havens" within Iraq (commonly called bases) whereby they have infinite rights of self defense. Perhaps the Iraqi government would be consulted to agree on broad areas of operation outside these safe havens. However even outside these areas, at least for the time being, US forces would remain under American command and control, with broad protections from the infant Iraqi judicial system. American forces are only effective and can only continue to offer positive outcomes through remaining under American command and control.

I am starting to become at least slightly more positive in my outlook for the prospects of Iraq to not descend into chaos based upon a willingness of the current Iraqi government to express confidence in their own developing military and police forces.


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