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U.S. withdrawal means chance of normal Iraq

07-19-2010 10:58 BJT

Will the U.S. withdrawal improve the security situation in Iraq?
We'll wait and see.

BEIJING, July 19 (Xinhuanet) -- The US military commander in Iraq, General Ray Odierrno, has been suffering from the changing military situation in the area. A few days ago, he said that the threat from Iranian-backed militants was increasing. He also emphasized that it would not disrupt the evacuation plan of US forces. It is reported that US troops will gradually withdraw from Iraq since August. By September 1, the number of US troops in Iraq will have been reduced from the current 77,500 to 50,000.

In fact, the prospect of the US military evacuation from Iraq depends neither on the Iraqi security situation, nor the policies of the new Iraqi regime. Instead, it is based on the methodology of how the US maintains its interests in Iraq. To station troops in Iraq is not the best way to achieve its interests.

The US cannot maintain its influence in Iraq by relying on garrison forces. A large number of troops is economically unsustainable and also unhelpful for the US in getting rid of the identity and image of an invader.

Meanwhile, the US garrison has become the main reason for the social unrest, unstable political environment, and worsening security situation in Iraq. It was because of this that the Bush administration, which launched the Iraq war, made the decision for the full evacuation of US forces in Iraq. The Obama administration followed the decision and implemented the evacuation agreement, keeping his commitment during the election.

The biggest bottleneck for the US is the legality problem of its interests in Iraq. Rather than get out of the "quagmire," the US would actually like to straighten out its relations with Iraq while taking the opportunity of the Iraqi election to es-tablish normal relations with the country.

As a result, with such a kind of lasting legitimacy, US interests in Iraq might be even amplified at a lower cost. From this perspective, the Iraqi election in April is a new attempt for the US to solve the legality problem of its presence in the country.

The US took great efforts to influence the direction of the Iraqi elections, starting from the development of the electoral law amendment, the final vote, and the settlement of the "election blacklist" incident, to the personal backing of President Barack Obama and Secretary Hillary Clinton on the election polling day.

Therefore, when the "long-waited" election results were announced, the US immediate-ly acted and set the tone for the arrangement: To congratulate the Iraqi people and government and to support the election results.

In 2005, the US sought to define the Iraqi political structure through the democratic electoral process in order to maintain and expand its long-term interests in the country. However, the 2005 election in Iraq was heavily manipulated by the Bush administration, which strongly supported Shiite power and was resisted by the Sunnis. The elected government did not reflect the real power structure of domestic political forces in Iraq, which led to the retrogression of ethnic and political progress.

Serious sectarian and ethnic conflicts were triggered, which led to the deterioration of the security situation. Therefore, the Obama administration tried to facilitate an elective government with broadly representative and social foundations. The US was relatively neutral in this election and essentially respected the domestic results produced by different political forces in Iraq.

As Odierno said, the security guarantee of US military bases in Iraq has been strengthened and the joint operations to suppress anti-government militants have also been upgraded. A evacuation plan from Iraq is within reach now, which indicates the coming of a "post-occupation" era in the country.

The US is trying to maintain its influence in Iraq in a more proper way under the new conditions, which is a notable change in the relations of the two countries. The end of foreign military occupation is the logical starting point for the normalization of Iraq. The direct intervention of external forces will gradually weaken over time and US-Iraq relations will become more normalized.

The political and social order, broken by the war, will effectively reach a fragile balance after the temporary pains. No matter voluntary or forced, the Iraqi elite and the public should have sufficient political wisdom and courage to seek for a path to realize political and ethnic reconciliation in the US-designed framework.

Iraq's problems will eventually be solved by the Iraqi people themselves. The normalization process of Iraqi political structures and development is also the restoring process of its national independence and nativity.


Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: Global Times

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