Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Trump Moves Spark Iraqi Anger, Calls Against Future Alliance | Military.com

Trump Moves Spark Iraqi Anger, Calls Against Future Alliance | Military.com: Iraqi and U.S. officials have said maintaining security in a post-IS Iraq will be just as difficult — preventing a resurgence of the militants and containing political divisions among Iraq's Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds. Both countries have talked of keeping some U.S. troops long term to back Iraq's security forces in that task, a recognition that complete American withdrawal at the end of 2011 was a mistake.

Now the Iraqi leader is coming under pressure. Lawmakers are demanding he reduce cooperation with Washington in the future, limit or prevent American troops from staying in the country after the defeat of IS, and reciprocate for any travel ban on Iraqis. Members of powerful Shiite militias have outright warned of retaliation against Americans if the U.S. carries out any military action against Iran, their patron.

"Trump embarrassed al-Abadi," said Saad al-Mutalabi, a lawmaker and long-time ally of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, one of al-Abadi's most powerful political opponents.

"There will be a general consensus that Americans should not stay in Iraq after Mosul, after the statements and the executive order from Trump," he said. "We believed that we had a strategic agreement with the U.S."

"We are fighting ISIS on behalf of the entire world," he added, using an alternative acronym for IS. "This has been a severe, severe disappointment among all Iraqis."

Publicly, al-Abadi has maintained measured tones. While he called Trump's ban an "insult," he refused to enact a reciprocity measure despite a strong call from Parliament to do so.