Da Barack Obama fredag sa amerikanske soldater vil være ute av Irak innen nyttår, sa han bare noe som har vært kjent.

Det han kunne og skulle ha gjort et nummer av var at Irak har nektet USA baser i landet.

Det er intet mindre enn oppsiktsvekkende og et stort prestisjenederlag.

USA har betalt i blod og penger en meget høy pris for å gi Irak en ny start. Det har lenge vært kjent at USA kom til å be om baser i landet. At irakerne skulle kunne nekte det har vært nærmest utenkelig.

The US suffered a major diplomatic and military rebuff on Friday when Iraq finally rejected its pleas to maintain bases in the country beyond this year.

Barack Obama announced at a White House press conference that all American troops will leave Iraq by the end of December, a decision forced by the final collapse of lengthy talks between the US and the Iraqi government on the issue.
..

But he had already announced this earlier this year, and the real significance today was in the failure of Obama, in spite of the cost to the US in dollars and deaths, to persuade the Iraqi president Nouri al-Maliki to allow one or more American bases to be kept in the country.

Obama was formally told of Maliki’s final decision on Friday morning in a video conference.

Speaking later to reporters, Obama glossed over the rejection, describing it as Iraq shaping its own future.

He told reporters that the «tide of war is receding», not only in Iraq but in Afghanistan and in Libya.

Tilbakeslag.John McCain var ikke i tvil om at USA hadde lidd et nederlag.

John McCain, one of the leading foreign affairs specialists in the Senate and Obama’s Republican opponent in the 2008 White House race, said: «Today marks a harmful and sad setback for the United States in the world. I respectfully disagree with the president: this decision will be viewed as a strategic victory for our enemies in the Middle East, especially the Iranian regime, which has worked relentlessly to ensure a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.»

Opprinnelig ønsket Pentagon tre-fire baser. Det kokte ned til en base og 10.000 soldater.Selv dette ble for mye. Det springende punkt var immunitet. Amerikanerne ønsket at soldatene skulle nyte godt av immunitet. Det ville ikke irakerne gi dem.

Statsministe Nouri al-Maliki skal ha gitt etter for pro-iranske krefter i regjeringen som ville ha amerikanerne helt ut.

Neste indikator på forholdet er tildeling av oljelisenser. Irak sitter på 10 % av verdens oljereserver.

Iraq rejects US request to maintain bases after troop withdrawal
Obama announces the full withdrawal of troops from Iraq but fails to persuade Nouri al-Maliki to allow US to keep bases there

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