Analysis: Iraq Splinters on Security
Council on Foreign Relations
June 11, 2008
Author: Greg Bruno
But it would be an exaggeration to call this a unified Iraqi political front; motivations for challenging the deals are as varied as the factions are diverse. Some Shiite parties appear to be capitalizing on a "growing nationalist backlash" (Abu Muqawama). Former Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, who says the deal would be "humiliating for the Iraqi people" (KUNA), has led a split (al-Hayat) of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Islamic Da'wa Paty, forming his own coalition. Ali al-Adeeb, another Da'wa party leader, contends the proposed agreements would "impair Iraqi sovereignty" (McClatchy) if U.S. demands for basing requirements are met. In the end, growing domestic pressure may force the Maliki government and its principle supporters to seek an extension of the UN mandate (WashPost) that authorizes the U.S. military presence. The White House wanted an inked agreement by the end of July.
Sunni concerns about the deals are more opaque. Kenneth Katzman, a specialist in Middle East affairs with the Congressional Research Service, says some Sunni factions favor a long-term security arrangement with Washington—in part because of assistance Sunni provinces received to fight al-Qaeda in Iraq, as this Backgrounder explains.
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