Decision Time Looms for US Troops in Iraq

cc Flickr The U.S. Army, modified, U.S. Army Soldiers from the 20th Engineer Brigade shuttle trucks across the Euphrates River Nov. 16, 2007, in support a combat operation near Baghdad, Iraq. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Luke Thornberry),


US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced that a strategic dialogue will be initiated with the Iraqi government beginning in June. Though the new talks will outline economic cooperation between the two countries, the front-and-center issue will be the future of the 5,200 US troops that remain in Iraq. These troops have become a strategic liability in recent months, evident in their repeated targeting by Iran-backed militias and, in early January, a direct missile strike in retaliation for the US killing of General Qasem Soleimani.

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