US Will Remain in Iraq “As Long As Needed”: Washington Wants to “Flip Iraq” From the Iranian to the Saudi Camp

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above  

The US declared that it’ll remain in Iraq for “as long as needed”.

This policy pronouncement was made by Colonel Sean Ryan, the spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, who justified it on the basis of ensuring Daesh’s defeat and training the Iraqi military. National Security Advisor John Bolton and other US officials had previously said that their country’s military presence in neighboring Syria was being prolonged in order to partially contain Iran, so it’s likely that this is also the real intent when it comes to Iraq too. The US is aware of “grey cardinal” Muqtada al-Sadr’s predisposition to “balancing” between Iran and Saudi Arabia, so this must also be included in any analysis of its approach towards the country and probably explains its risky sanctions strategy too.

Iraq has intimate socio-economic and energy links with Iran that are impossible to sever without dealing disastrous damage to the country, though the US is nevertheless trying to pressure it into complying with its sanctions against the Islamic Republic under threat of coming under so-called “secondary sanctions” itself.  Prime Minister al-Abadi has given mixed signals about his willingness to go along with this scheme, but Iraq will probably be forced to downgrade some of its ties with its neighbor even if it’s not possible for it to cut them all off completely. This will destabilize the situation in the parts of the country that are most closely tied to Iran, which is  Iraq’s second-largest non-energy trading partner behind Turkey.

US forces stay in Iraq

Not only could this contribute to the growing gap between the pro-American and Turkish-tied Kurds in the north and some of the more skeptical Iranian-aligned Arabs in the south that could be exploited by the lingering US military presence in the country, but it could also create space for Saudi Arabia to propose a GCC bailout package as part of its long-term bid to displace Iran’s economic position in Iraq. Al-Sadr and al-Abadi would likely go along with this as the only pragmatic option available to them despite the obviousness of this being a joint American-Saudi “reverse-engineered” Hybrid War “solution” to the manufactured socio-economic crisis that the US is creating.


This article was originally published on Oriental Review.

Andrew Korybko is an American Moscow-based political analyst specializing in the relationship between the US strategy in Afro-Eurasia, China’s One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity, and Hybrid Warfare. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image is from Project Syndicate

Comment on Global Research Articles on our Facebook page

Become a Member of Global Research

Articles by: Andrew Korybko

About the author:

Andrew Korybko est le commentateur politique étasunien qui travaille actuellement pour l’agence Sputnik. Il est en troisième cycle de l’Université MGIMO et auteur de la monographie Guerres hybrides: l’approche adaptative indirecte pour un changement de régime(2015).

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Centre of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post Global Research articles on community internet sites as long the source and copyright are acknowledged together with a hyperlink to the original Global Research article. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: [email protected] contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: [email protected]