Despite the US military’s withdrawal in Iraq, the United States of America has maintained a robust diplomatic presence of the Middle Eastern country.
In an special briefing via teleconference in Washington DC, Deputy Secretary Thomas Nides cites couple of facts as it regards to Iraq and what US is planning to do and what it planned to do when it started the mission.
According to Mr. Nides, US had the largest transition since the Marshall Plan taking place as of January 1st this year.
“The military is now gone. We have a robust diplomatic presence.” – Mr. Nides
He says US has a diplomatic presence both in up north and down south and in Baghdad.
In addition, US has been fully and completely engaged on all of the political aspects.
Mr. Nides also gives enormous credit to of being fully engaged at all levels of the Iraqi political situation.
Both US and Iraq have stood up a robust police-training program, which is doing a terrific job working with the local police in training and developing a program, which Mr. Nides thinks will pay enormous dividends, too.
Both countries are working on economic development and they’re producing almost a million two barrels a day out of Basrah.
“And we’re working with the IO community to make sure that that, as well as all the other economic development all over the country, we have economic officers accomplishing that.” – Mr. Nides
On political deployment
According to Mr. Nides, from the beginning, US is fully and completely engaged on the political deployment.
“And with that “knock on wood” we’re doing this, with the first and foremost, the security of our people.” – Mr. Nides
Mr. Nides says first and foremost, US goal has always beem making sure Americans are secure.
In addition, Mr. Nides says contrary to some of the news reports, US is not reducing its operations by 50 percent.
He recalls that year ago, US had almost 40-50,000 American troops there. and the military was was predominately the way they got around.
“It was certainly a major part of our presence, if not the greater preponderance of our presence, and all of much of our diplomatic presence was dependent upon everything from how we were fed and our medical care and all those activities.” – Mr. Nides right?
He says so, as US has made the largest transition they were going to have to have a mission set up to basically allow them to do exactly what their mission was, which is the diplomacy, the political engagement, the police training.
“And so our goal was at that point was to make sure we had a mission that’s set up.” – Mr. Nides
US has started the plan particularly the police training with a half a billion dollar program.
Mr. Nides also underlines that US goal has been to continue to set the mission to make sure that it does not compromise on its core responsibilities, which is, number one, the security of our people.
“So regardless of what the size is, we are going to make sure that the people there our diplomats and the people that we have hired there are secure, number one.” – Mr. Nides
He says this mission is as important a diplomatic mission that we have anywhere in the world and the stakes are high, and US plan to be engaged.
Why is Iraq Important to The United States?
US has highlghted its interests in Iraq which is to help the country emerge as a strategic partner and a force for stability and moderation in a troubled region.
A stable Iraq will play a critical role in achieving U.S. foreign policy objectives in the Middle East for the foreseeable future.
Iraq’s strategic importance is based on a number of factors. Iraq plays a central role in the Arab and Muslim worlds and hosts Shi’a Islam’s holiest sites.
Iraq has a diverse, multi-sectarian and multi-ethnic population.
Geographically, Iraq is strategically positioned between major regional players, including Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, and Syria.
Iraq represents the frontier between the Arab and Persian worlds. And because it is endowed with a significant portion of the world’s oil reserves, Iraq will play an increasingly influential role in the global economy.
The United States has important national interests in the greater Middle East. These include the unity and security of Iraq as well as continued development of its democratic institutions and its reintegration into the region. U.S. national interests related to Iraq are: regional nonproliferation; counterterrorism cooperation; access to energy; and integration of the region into global markets.
U.S. policy is set by President Obama’s 2009 speech at Camp Lejeune, which reaffirmed the 2008 Security Agreement, calling for the withdrawal of U.S. forces by December 31, 2011, and the 2008 Strategic Framework Agreement, which lays out a long-term strategic relationship between the U.S. and Iraq in the fields of diplomacy, economics, energy, security, and rule of law. The goal of the President’s policy is to promote security and prosperity in Iraq, transition responsibility for security to the for security to the Iraqis, and cultivate an enduring strategic relationship with Iraq based on mutual interests and mutual respect.
The US expressed admiration of the American men and women who served valiantly in Iraq, as the nearly nine-year war was officially declared over by President Obama in 2011
The U.S. has announced an official end to the military mission in Iraq, with the president describing the American effort a “success.”
The last of the 4,000 troops now in Iraq will be departing in the coming year, leaving behind only those who will stay on as part of the diplomatic mission.