Paying back the debt…the challenges and dangers of the Sudanese’s “daring” relationship with America

Paying back the debt…the challenges and dangers of the Sudanese’s “daring” relationship with America

2024-05-08 08:40

Paying back the debt...the challenges and dangers of the Sudaneses daring relationship with AmericaShafaq News/ The American “Arab Center in Washington” Institute identified the internal and external challenges and risks that stand in the way of Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shiaa al-Sudani after his visit to Washington, D.C., during which he said that he seeks to “establish bold new relations” with the United States.

The American report, translated by Shafaq News Agency, indicated that the Sudanese is in the middle of his term and has 18 months to achieve his vision regarding closer relations with the United States, or at least to put them on the right track. However, given the various pressures and the economic and security situation, his plans Ambition is not guaranteed in any case, as it is likely to face challenges from different sectors in the current political environment.

The report quoted American and Iraqi sources as saying that Al-Sudani’s visit was successful despite the preoccupation of President Joe Biden’s administration with the Gaza war and the Iranian attack on Iran on April 13.

The report pointed out that the political risks are great for Sudanese, as he owes his appointment in 2022 to the forces of the coordinating framework, which includes some militia forces condemned by Congress and which are demanding an end to the American presence in Iraq.

After the report referred to the intense meetings in which Al-Sudani participated during his American visit, it said that during his media interviews he seemed self-confident, clear-headed, and rarely proficient in facts and figures, in addition to that he was also disciplined during the interviews, including with CNN. America, where he maintained his composure, even though some of his responses were evasive and not convincing.

360 degree relationship

While the report pointed out that Al-Sudani explained, during his interviews and meetings, his vision of a “360-degree” relationship with the United States, and the many areas that he seeks to strengthen with Washington in energy, finance, health, environment, education, security, and others, it said that Al-Sudani portrayed Iraq as representing a ripe opportunity for investment. By American companies, especially in the field of energy and electricity.

However, the report said that the ambitious program proposed by Al-Sudani will face the operational and political realities in Iraq.

The report explained that in practice, Iraq does not suffer from deep-rooted corruption, bureaucracy, a fragmented decision-making process, a fragile financial sector, security risks, and a workforce that lacks the skills necessary to achieve international standards, indicating that the government is trying to address some of these challenges and that Some of them cannot be treated quickly, such as vocational readiness, which constitutes an obstacle to Western investment.

However, the report said that “more serious than that are the political challenges,” explaining that achieving a long-term partnership with the United States “requires a national political will that may not exist in Iraq at the present time.”

In this context, he pointed out the discrepancy between the positions of the coordination framework, which supported the Sudanese visit but demanded a commitment regarding the American withdrawal, while the State Administration Coalition supported the visit but did not shed light on the issue of the American presence.

He pointed out that the Kurds have always supported the establishment of strong relations with Washington, including security and military cooperation, as a guarantee of their security, adding that the Sunnis quietly support strong relations with Washington to be a counterweight to Iranian influence in Iraq.

Sudanese opposition

The report considered that the most serious opposition to Al-Sudani’s vision may come from some Shiite militias, specifically the factions within the Popular Mobilization Forces, which were targeting American interests in Iraq and Syria and claimed responsibility for attacks against Israel, as these factions are affected by Iran’s strategic calculations regarding the harm or benefits from The US-Iraqi partnership affects Iran’s regional interests.

The report warned that the events in the region, the most dangerous of which is the continuation of the war in Gaza or the open conflict with Hezbollah, will only strengthen the position of extremists who incite against the close relations between Iraq and the United States.

In this context, he recalled the position of the Rights Bloc, the political arm of Kataib Hezbollah, which demanded accountability for the results of the Sudanese-American visit, specifically with regard to the withdrawal of coalition forces.

The report suggested that other challenges facing the American partnership posed by Sudanese will come from his competitors, explaining that many Shiite leaders, motivated by their own ambitions and looking forward to the upcoming parliamentary elections, do not want Sudanese to achieve success, indicating that Sudanese is a partner. Small has no party base, while the coalition forces have chosen him to be an instrument of their will rather than an independent actor, and rivals will want to thwart him.

However, the report pointed out that the coalition forces are not all homogeneous, as they include pragmatists who support Al-Sudani’s vision because they hope to benefit from it, and there are those who oppose it for ideological reasons or competitive motives, in addition to others who are neutral.

He also added that many Shiite parties actually invest in the country and enjoy a large share of the economic pie, and they believe that through partnership with the United States, their share in it will expand.

Kurds and Sudanese

The report stated that in order to strengthen his position locally, the Sudanese, perhaps with the urging of the United States, made efforts to repair relations with the Kurds, despite the problems raised by the Iraqi courts regarding Kurdistan Region’s oil revenues, which the Kurds consider unfair and politically motivated.

The report continued that the two Kurdish parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, gave full support for Al-Sudani’s visit to Washington, and relations between Baghdad and Erbil have become better than they were months ago.

The report noted that Al-Sudani also met with leaders in the torn Sunni arena and began establishing projects in the Sunni stronghold of Anbar, while beginning to implement his social services program in order to gain popular acceptance. Popular, and therefore the Iraqi Prime Minister is trying to obtain support from outside the ruling coalition forces, to include other political parties and Iraqi voters.

The report added that Sudanese is also preoccupied with integrating Iraq into the regional economic fabric.

The American role

The report stated that since the signing of the Strategic Framework Agreement in 2008, and during three presidencies, the United States had considered Iraq to be nothing more than a security problem, and American policy was focused on security and military needs, but this narrow view is neither “sustainable” nor “ “permanent” and lacks the potential for economic, social and technological engagement.

The report added that implementing the broader mandate of the Strategic Framework Agreement has now become a necessity, not a luxury, for the two countries.

The report concluded by saying that there is no doubt that there are bureaucratic, political, and perhaps security factors that must be taken into account, including corruption, which is considered a major problem in Iraq.

He continued that the United States must look not only at the benefits of implementing the Unified Framework Agreement, but also at the costs of not implementing it, including the risks of instability in Iraq, the rising power of extremist groups that have regional repercussions, the growing Iranian influence, and the possible withdrawal from the country. Iraq is far from regional Arab politics and the possibility of it heading east towards Russia and China.