American Institute: Washington must get rid of the colonial mentality in its dealings with Iraq

American Institute: Washington must get rid of the colonial mentality in its dealings with Iraq

2024-04-14 07:01

American Institute - Washington must get rid of the colonial mentality in its dealings with IraqShafaq News/ The American “Quinsey” Institute called on the White House to deal with Iraq as an independent state and not only from the perspective of confrontation with “Iran in 1979,” stressing that the Iraqis represent “the only true democracy in the Arab world,” and Washington must stop dealing with them. With a “colonial” mentality.

Under the title “Can the United States and Iraq overcome military relations?”, the American Institute mentioned, in a report translated by Shafaq News Agency, the visit of Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shia al-Sudani to Washington, the American invasion 21 years ago, and Washington’s establishment of an authority in Iraq that failed to restore order. It contributed to fomenting the rebellion after the entire Iraqi army was disbanded and the most experienced civil servants were dismissed.

Losing battle

The report also referred to the “losing battle” that the coalition forces fought until 2007, until the plan to increase forces was implemented, then the withdrawal in 2011, and the return of American soldiers in 2014 to fight ISIS, as these forces are still in Iraq, while the Iraq and the international coalition forces changed the mission of the forces from combat to advisory and training.

The report wondered whether, while the Supreme Military Committee between the United States and Iraq was in the process of reviewing the issue of the presence of American forces, the American side might stop for fear of being forced to agree to a smaller military presence and operations subject to restrictions.

The American Institute did not rule this out, but it said that Sudanese may want to obtain a public commitment from Biden confirming the continuation of this trend through a constructive decision and according to an appropriate timing.

However, the report indicated that regardless of the issue of the American military presence, Al-Sudani wants to strengthen Baghdad’s relations with Washington, which he considers the most important bilateral relationship for Iraq, in addition to adding economic dimensions to Iraq’s relations with the United States.

Economic relations

After the report pointed out that despite the Americans’ interest in Iraq through oil, it stated that the major American oil company, ExxonMobil, left Iraq in November 2023 without achieving significant gains for its efforts that lasted for about a decade, adding that This departure would reduce the expectations of other American companies, but Al-Sudani nevertheless wants to revitalize economic relations, as many senior businessmen are accompanying him on his American visit.

The report continued that trade between the United States and Iraq is subject to development, noting that the United States exported goods to Iraq in the year 2022, worth 897 million dollars, and the first product was cars, while Iraq exported goods worth 10.3 billion dollars, the majority of which was oil.

The report pointed out that the “development road” represents one of Iraq’s main economic goals, which is supposed to link the Gulf to Europe via Turkey, and include free trade zones along the way.

Therefore, the report said that it is necessary for Biden and Al-Sudani to think about the shape of the future relationship between the United States and Iraq, which has so far been governed by military considerations, adding that the problem with the idea of ​​military intervention is that it makes the party believe that it is capable of a solution, and it also makes it feel that it Acts as the owner of foreign land.

Therefore, the report said, “Iraq is the only true democracy in the Arab world, and many young Iraqis want religion to be separated from the state, which should resonate with Americans, as Iraqis hope that this will prompt the United States to deal with Iraq.” “As Iraq, and not an arena for operations against Syria and Iran.”

Assassination of the engineer

The report saw that the United States harmed itself by assassinating the Deputy Chairman of the Popular Mobilization Forces, Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, in January 2020, recalling that Baghdad had transferred the Popular Mobilization Forces into the government in 2016, with undoubted American encouragement, and therefore… The assassination of Al-Muhandis, who was thus a government official, increased popular support for the Hashd forces.

In addition, the report stated that there are some clouds looming on the horizon for Iraq and the United States, including the issue of corruption, the spread of which has led to a slowdown in economic development and the subjection of Iraqi citizens to ineffective governance, pointing out that Transparency International ranked Iraq during the year 2023 in 154th place. out of 180 countries, which is a slight improvement compared to 2022 when it ranked 157 out of 180.

But the report said that Al-Sudani did not ignore the issue of corruption, describing it as one of the biggest challenges facing the country and “no less dangerous than the threat of terrorism.”

Elizabeth Tsurkov

Among other cases, there is also the case of Israeli Elizabeth Tsurkov, who is believed to have been kidnapped by the Hezbollah Brigades more than a year ago, as her family wants the Biden administration to classify Iraq as a state sponsor of terrorism due to its failure to secure her release.

The report continued that the Prime Minister’s Office confirmed the existence of an investigation into her case, but the problem may arise when Al-Sudani meets with Biden, although the best outcome for Iraq and the United States may be through reaching a Russian-brokered agreement between Israel and Iran.

Chinese role

The report warned that if Biden classified Iraq as a state sponsor of terrorism, this would irreparably damage the relationship and open the door to China.

Although the report said that the United States represents the first important relationship for Iraq, it is not the only relationship, adding that if Washington rejects Baghdad, China will respond to it by directing invitations to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the BRICS group, which can finance infrastructure projects from Through the New Development Bank.

The report stated that the Chinese company “PetroChina” was the one that replaced “Exxon Mobil” in the West Qurna 1 field, which is one of the largest oil fields in Iraq, while it has the appropriate opportunity to carry out further expansion, noting that Iraq was “the main beneficiary.” From China’s Belt and Road Initiative investments in 2021.

While the report mentioned Al-Sudani’s position that he rejects Iraq being an arena for conflict between the United States and Iran, the report said that when it comes to Iran, the issue in Washington is always the view that goes back to the year 1979, when the Iranian Islamic Revolution broke out and the American embassy was stormed and detained. Its employees.

The report concluded by saying that although Sudanese has many challenges that he must deal with, Biden has more challenges, so he must redirect his administration away from its “colonial mentality” in West Asia, and he must realize that Baghdad must It reaches a temporary settlement with Tehran, which may not be in Washington’s favor, but it also does not pave the way for Beijing’s greater penetration of West Asia.