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The White House has announced highest-level talks between the United States and Iraq to be held in Washington on July 26. During the meeting, American President Joe Biden and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi intend to consolidate agreements on strategic cooperation reached during the previous three rounds of talks and put them into practice.
"I will head for Washington to discuss the level of US-Iraqi relations, particularly the issue of the US presence in Iraq and the mission to withdraw their armed forces from our country," Al-Kadhimi said in an interview with Al Hadath TV channel published on Sunday evening.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi Prime minister highly appreciated the role of the United States in Iraq, pointing out that the American authorities helped Baghdad not only militarily, but also in the spheres of education, culture, economy and others. He called US assistance essential for the future army training either.
Ahead of the summit, National Security Council Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Brett McGurk, who arrived from the United States, met with Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi and Iraqi President Barham Salih in Baghdad. According to the Iraqi government's press service, the parties approved of the Washington summit agenda, as well as the sides' tasks and goals.
It should be noted that relations between the states are going through a sustained period of trial. Two unjustified and deadly wars unleashed by America against Iraq led to a power shift in the country, the destruction of a once powerful economy, the emergence of chaos and an actual territorial partition into three separate enclaves. For over 20 years of military presence, the Americans in Iraq have not created a single industrial, social or educational facility.
The Americans are fully responsible for being engaged in the 2008 appearance of Islamic State in Iraq (international terrorist group banned in Russia). Using its favorite and proven practice of bribing influential politicians and leaders of the government's power bloc, Brother Jonathan contributed to unprecedented corruption among the Iraqi officials and generals, which affected all the authorities from top to bottom like cancer spreads.
The Americans in Iraq have achieved their key goal, making the government unable and unaware how to keep ruling the country. Hopelessness and weakness have pushed the former government to establishing close ties with neighboring Iran, which resulted in its virtually uncontrolled military presence in Iraq, the emergence of an entire army of pro-Iranian Shiite armed groups. These numerous so-called "people's protection" detachments mainly guard the interests of local feudal lords and are occasionally attracted by the Iranians to perform security functions in Syria.
Recently, some detachments, with their militants having been trained under the guidance of Iranian IRGC instructors, intensified armed attacks against US military and administrative facilities. Year-to-date alone, there have been more than 50 cases of artillery shelling and other attacks on two American military bases.
Since the beginning of 2021, the United States has almost completely curtailed its participation in annihilating the remnants of ISIL gangs in Iraq, the number and military activity of which has recently soared. The Americans have "temporarily" ceased professional training of specialists with the Iraqi military police, gendarmerie, border police and other internal security forces. On the plea of increased danger, Brother Jonathan prefers to lie low at the Iraqi-protected bases.
Washington is generally satisfied with this kind of situation in Iraq: torn by contradictions, the country's government is all but entirely dependent on the United States. And even the Iranian influence plays into the hands of the Americans, whose presence deters Tehran from further expansion.
Brother Jonathan also benefits from the shameless and brazen actions by Turkey in the north, which, under the pretext of ensuring safety of its own southern parts, is explicitly executing eviction of the Kurds and Arabs through scorched-earth tactics. All the Iraqi appeals to the Americans to curb the Turkish expansion go unaddressed. It's no secret that a mere hint of the United States would be enough for the Turks to stop behaving like this towards the Iraqis...
According to Pentagon officials, there are currently 2,600 American troops stationed in Iraq. Given their changed operational climate, those are mainly engaged in monitoring the situation in the Middle East. The overriding priority of their military presence in Iraq is maintaining army bases so as to use massive formations of coalition troops in case of an aggravation or military conflict in the region.