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Experts urge US towards greater political engagement in Iraq

By Rudaw 7/10/2017
WASHINGTON DC – American Middle Eastern experts asked to advise Congress on the Kurdistan referendum and post-ISIS Iraq are urging the US towards greater political engagement. 

Ryan Crocker served as US ambassador to Iraq from 2007 to 2009, at a time when the US had a much greater presence in the country. Now, “sadly, we have not only removed the troops, we’ve ended a serious political engagement there,” he told Rudaw’s Namo Abdulla in Washington. 

He said the US is “doing no favours” for anyone in Iraq or the region by criticizing the outcome of the referendum, but should be putting their energies into looking forward, “talking about what we can do to see that the process ahead is a smooth and stable one. That’s where we need to use our influence.”

His advice is for the US to offer to facilitate discussions between Baghdad and Iraq.

Kurdish leaders have stressed both before and after the vote that the referendum is a tool to achieve independence but not a declaration of separation from Iraq. Sovereignty will come only through negotiations with Baghdad, they have stated.

The central government, however, has so far refused to sit down at the table with the Kurdish leadership after the vote, demanding that Kurds cancel the result of the referendum as a pre-condition for talks. 

Washington has rejected the referendum result and urged all parties to focus on the war against ISIS and stabilization of Iraq post-ISIS. 

Dr. Kenneth Pollack, a former CIA analyst and expert on Middle Eastern politics and military affairs, agrees that greater American political engagement in Iraq is required. He believes that after the military defeat of ISIS, a residual American force should remain in the country with a mission that would be “primarily political.”

“Yes, there are military things that it can and should do, but we need to focus on its political role as being the most important of all,” he said. 


Kurd | 7/10/2017
It seems USA have given up the ME for Russia, Iran and Turkey for the moment, but that’s a very dangerous and bad decision. It will be very difficult to come back if they leave it now, and both Iran and Turkey will be stronger than ever. In that case the losers will be Israel, Us and Kurds. WTH is happening over there, where are Americans when their friends needs them most?
Bakir Lashkari
Bakir Lashkari | 7/10/2017
At the end, USA policymakers will comply what the friends of Kurds want to, to acknowledge the Independent Kurdistan which is offering the stability in the region, even for the West. Iran remains a big threat to the MR region, including Israeli and the West. The airspace of Kurdistan, believe is protected day and night, Iran withdraw it's the Hashid Al Shabi at the border between Iran and Kurdistan "Haji Overran" recently, after the special night visionaries!
Skandinavian | 7/10/2017
I think KRD has approved it's ability to function democratically and to be a trustworthy part of an independently functioning international community under world humanitarian and human rights agreements. KRD has sheltered nearly 2 million idp's from Iraq and Syria, something that no other country have been able to do. Practically KRD has given assulym to its "enemies" and while doing all this they fight succesfully against IS and run their country providing fex Iraqi tourist a possibility to travel safely in a country which their leaders would like to run down by blocking their oil business and close the borders. And then America should play a political role in Iraq??? I would not be so sure about that. America should give full support to KRD independence as it would be the second democratic country in the region! After the independence of KRD an international community should disarm the region from fundamental islamic regimes like Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria. That's what America and UN should do!
Guest | 11/10/2017
This article is misleading and incorrect. Using the term, Washington, is meaningless. The United States has not rejected the referendum. There are members of Congress who have openly supported the referendum and Kurdistan's quest for independence. There are also a lot of American's who support it as individuals.

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