Tomorrow, American and Iraqi delegations will sit down for Strategic Dialogue talks.

This is a big moment for the #US-#Iraq relationship with a new Biden administration and accumulating security concerns in Iraq.
The talks are intended to cover shared #US and #Iraq mutual interests across a range of topics, such as improvements in trade, development, aid, Iraq’s education, industrial, and health sectors, climate issues, and of course, the elephant in the room: security.
The #Biden administration has not been very clear on their #Iraq strategy, despite campaign trail commitments to defeat #Daesh and the US missile strike on a Kataib Hezbollah (KH) and Kaitaib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS) compound near the #Syria-Iraq border over a month ago.
So, the talks come at an important time.

Before Biden’s inauguration, the Trump admin initiated a scale-down of 2,700 forces in just 2020 alone, in addition to transferring out of 8 bases in #Iraq in the face of increased projectile attacks from Iran-aligned PMF factions.
(Taking this moment to re-up the @NewlinesInst report I wrote outlining the security consequences of US consolidation and the work that’s left to be done to help maintain Iraqi sovereignty and human security.)…
Despite #US consolidation & a brief ceasefire between fall 2020 and the Biden admin's first days, these attacks on the US-led CJTF-OIR and partner Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) continue, racking further pressure on the US, coalition partners, & #NATO allies to adjust force posture.
But the #US isn’t the only one pigeonholed by Iraq’s #Iran-aligned militias.

Prime Minister Mustafa #Kadhimi and his political allies, #Iraq’s federal government, and the Kurdish Regional Government (#KRG) have also been targeted by PMF elements in recent months.
(Quick moment to re-up the piece my colleague @RashaAlAqeedi wrote about how armed groups have undermined an already-weak Iraqi government, forcing Prime Minister Kadhimi into a careful balancing act):…
We’ve seen that even when there is a lull in attacks on US forces, IED and projectile attacks on Iraqi personnel, convoys, and defensive assets continue, signaling the long-term threat to Iraqi sovereignty and stability.

As evidenced by @sfrantzman here:…
Ultimately, this all ties back to a greater need for the #US to re-adjust its Iraq policy and re-calculate its long-term objectives there.
There is an imperative for the #US to incrementally disengage from #Iraq to allocate our attention elsewhere (cough, cough: conventional theaters in Europe & Asia vs. great-power rivals), as argued by @tcwittes here:…
However, this does not mean that Washington does not continue to maintain a key interest in protecting Iraqi human security and sovereignty and preventing a power vacuum from emerging. This is especially the case for the #US' short-term strategy in #Iraq and #MENA.
This will require some #US diplomatic heavy-lifting beyond just sticking to the status quo of countering #Daesh and tit-for-tac reactionary strikes with #Iran-aligned armed groups in #Iraq.
And it will require a reassessment of the #US-#Iraq relationship, divorced from the Trump administration’s Maximum Pressure Strategy, as I argue here for @NewlinesInst:…
The #US should urgently seek to develop a country-specific strategy with #Iraq, while accounting for #PMF malign activity during future #JCPOA negotiations, as @RashaAlAqeedi and I argued a month ago:…
Also, there is a great need for the #US to support the Iraqi federal government with accountability measures towards #Iran-aligned militias with attacks on defensive assets, embassies, coalition locations, government buildings, and civilian populations in #Iraq.
This point on accountability was well put by @Mikeknightsiraq earlier last month.…
And as it seeks out avenues to curb Iran-supported militias operating in #Iraq, the #US should look to support Iraqi economic reform as a way to undermine armed groups’ exploitation of the Iraqi economy, as @RanjAlaaldin points out here:…
In sum, there’s a lot to be explored in tomorrow’s #US-#Iraq Strategic Dialogue talks.

Everything won’t be covered--some topics will get swept under the rug entirely--but it will be important for the #Biden administration to use this as a strategic opportunity... form the basis of an Iraq-specific country policy and address the existing array of blind spots in the #US-#Iraq relationship.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Caroline Rose

Caroline Rose Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @CarolineRose8

5 Apr
@NewlinesInst launched our first episode of its "Contours" podcast series last Friday, but just in case you missed it: myself, @jeff_hawn, @eugenechausovsk, and @NicholasAHeras take a deep-dive into the #Russia's buildup along its border with #Ukraine.…
#Russia has always had an interest in protecting its influence in Ukraine as an existential imperative in Eastern Europe, but we had to ask: why is the Kremlin acting now? What elements are driving the timing of this buildup along the border with #Ukraine?
@jeff_hawn noted that not only does a buildup align with #Russia's long-term imperatives of keeping #Ukraine in its sphere of influence, but that weather (it's warmer to deploy forces) and internal politics in Kiev (the shake-up of pro-RUS officials) drove the Kremlin to act.
Read 6 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!