An Enduring American Commitment in Iraq
Shaping a Long-Term Strategy with Iraqi Army Partners
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The author of this Perspective argues that the United States should make a full and enduring commitment to Iraq by providing robust, long-term assistance to the Iraqi Army. A clear-eyed look at the current situation in Iraq suggests that 2020 could represent a potential turning point for U.S. policy. U.S. military and diplomatic influence is arguably as strong as it has been since the 2011 withdrawal, but Iraq's urgent need for U.S. military assistance may not endure. Competition from Iran, Russia, and China in Iraq and across the Middle East is fierce. All three of these countries may offer more-appealing deals than the United States. It is time to make a full and enduring commitment to Iraq before fleeting opportunities are lost. Risks and benefits should be weighed carefully, but quickly. The best way to establish that commitment is through robust, long-term assistance to the Iraqi Army.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Iraq's Army and U.S. National Security
Iraq's Importance to U.S. National Security Interests
America's Experience with and in Iraq, 1979–2019
Iraq at the Heart of American Foreign Policy: 1979–2019
Current Strategic Importance of Iraq and Its Army: Late 2019
Iraq's Army as a Focal Point for Enduring Strategic Development
A Policy for Enduring Commitment in Iraq
Building Iraqi Army Combat Effectiveness
Research conducted by
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