Monday, November 26, 2007

US And Iraq Sign Long Term Relations Deal

President Bush signed a deal with President Maliki today that essentially outlines a long term US presence in Iraq with full details to be negotiated in 2008.
Bush and al-Maliki signed the new U.S.-Iraq "declaration of principles" during a secure video conference this morning.Meanwhile, Al-Maliki said his government would ask the UN to renew the mandate for the multinational force for one last time. ending in 2008.

"Two senior Iraqi officials familiar with the issue say Iraq's government will embrace a long-term U.S. troop presence in return for U.S. security guarantees as part of a strategic partnership. The two officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the subject is sensitive, said U.S. military and diplomatic representatives appeared generally favorable, subject to negotiations on the details, which include preferential treatment for American investments.

Preferential treatment for U.S. investors could provide a huge windfall if Iraq can achieve enough stability to exploit its vast oil resources. Such a deal would also enable the United States to maintain leverage against Iranian expansion at a time of growing fears about Tehran's nuclear aspirations."

Note that. US in oil companies and military defense contractors, as well as a slew of other US materials and services providers.

I think I owe Dave at the Glittering Eye fifteen cents.


Anonymous said...

So what if oil companies and defense contractors benefit from Iraq. That will be all the better. Iraq will get a jumpstart for its economy, and those dollars will eventually circulate over here. Maybe I'm reading you wrong, FF, but I never thought you were one to buy in the "military-industrial complex of imperialism" thing.

Tell me I'm wrong.

Freedom Fighter said...

You're wrong ;)

As my old pal Reverend Ike once told me, it ain't no sin to do good!

I will say this, though. Given the incredible amount of corruption in Iraq, both in the government and in certain US contractors, I'm a bit ummm...suspicious about which hand is washing which hand in this one.And how they're connected.

We'll know more once the negotiations get finalized...


Anonymous said...

George W. Bush is little more than a figure head right now. His political enemies control the House, the Senate, the Courts, the main stream news media, and the US education system among other things. If that is not enough, he is widly unpopular among the American public. In others words, an agreement with George W. Bush is not worth the paper it is printed on.

I really don't know what marginal utility a long term US troop presence would have for either the US or the soverign Iraqi government. The Iraqis have stated that their territory cannot be used to attack their neighbors. As such, Iraq cannot be used as a counterweight to Iran.

Since George W. Bush does not have the political power to honor the agreement, "security guarantess" from the US for the Iraqi ggovernment are worse than useless
for the Maliki government. As I understand it, the agreement between the US and Iraq's soverign government includes 12 permanent military bases and about 50,000 US troops. The "security guarantees" with the US open up Iraq's government to be accused of being an American puppet. While Iraq's government is soverign and it is no puppet of the US, perception counts for a great deal. This perception would serve to undermine Iraq's ability to represent its interests.

50,000 troops would not be enough to supply security any way. They would be a constant target of "insurgents." This would accelerate demands in the US to bring the troops home. Also, the US Congress would not allow the military to remain in a situation where Iran might have to be confronted.

The bottom line is Maliki and Bush reached an agreement that Bush cannot keep. Also, with the many factions in the Iraqi government I find it questionable whether or not Maliki can keep his end of the agreement.

Given all of these factors, there will not be a permanent US military presence in Iraq. All US troops will be out of Iraq by 9/30/08. As for the military bases, assuming they are really being constructed at all, one or more of the following will happen to them. They will be used by the Iraqi military. Iraq will need to have a military to defend itself. These bases would have good utility for the Iraqis. If they are unused by the Iraqi military, they will be left uncompleted or torn down. The intention all along has probably been for the Iraqi military to use these bases.

In summary, all US personnel will be out of Iraq by 9/30/08 whether anyone likes it or not. Any agreement Bush signs is irrelevant. He is little more than a figure head right now.

IF the US can get an honorable agreement here and security can be established in Iraq, Iraq's vast oil reserves can be developed. The development of Iraq's vast oil reserves will be good for Iraq and for the world. The only losers here would be Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Venezuela. Frankly those countries need to lose.

Iraq will have a credible military deterrent and the US will have a way to counter Iran. Also, once security is established and Iraq becomes prosperous, the US amy get an ally out of this.

All of this is a BIG IF of course. For any of this to materialize depends upon many factors outside of the control of either Bush or Maliki.

Anonymous said...

The deal cannot include favorable treatment for US contractors. Those foreign contractors and even some disgruntled US contractors who did not get the favorable treatment would take up the case with the world media. The US contracctor receiving preferential treatment from the Iraqi or US governments would be vilified in the media and the media would seek to destroy them. As such, preferential treatment from the Iraqi government to a US investor would have adverse consequences to the US investor that would outweigh any benefits that could poetentially accrue to the US investor. Given this situation, a US investor would not ask for preferential treatment from the Iraqi government nor would it be granted even if they did, as the Iraqi government will not want to be accused of being an American puppet. With the current geo- political realities the President would not even ask for this on behalf of any contractor.