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Biden’s Iraq Withdrawal: Will It Happen?

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Whereas the US has almost fully withdrawn from Afghanistan, leaving it for Afghanistan’s neighbours to clean up the mess, the Joe Biden administration’s announcement to end the US military’s combat mission in Iraq is an ambiguous proposition, one that the administration is likely to use to conceal its active presence inside Iraq to combat and check Iranian presence and role in the region. An unambiguous and absolute US withdrawal from Iraq will only push it back into the Iranian orbit, consequently undoing the very reason for the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, which was meant to steer Iraq decisively away from Iran and weaken the so-called ‘Shia crescent’ in the Middle East. That Iran, despite the on-going talks with the US to revive the JCPOA, remains a US target is evident from the two air strikes (in February and in June) the Joe Biden has conducted against Iran backed militias in Iraq since coming into power. The strikes show that Joe Biden administration is unlikely to stop chasing Iran even if the JCPOA is re-negotiated and re-implemented, and that Washington will continue to push against Iran to roll-back its influence.

Why? Because checking and countering Iran is the bedrock of the US policy for and presence in the Middle East. It is mainly by making up the ‘Iran threat’ that the US can continue to shape and re-shape the region to its advantage. Iran, on the other hand, is unlikely to........

© New Eastern Outlook

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