The ongoing discussions between the Iraq government and Bush officials over future relations between the United States and Iraq continue amidst evidence there are differing views about long term relations and the presence of American forces in Iraq. The UN mandate expires at the end of the year, and issues emerge concerning is there any legal right for American forces to continue functioning in Iraq next year. Prime Minister Maliki is pushing for an agreement before the end of July to avoid “any legal vacuum” which most probably will arise after a new president is inaugurated in Washington D.C. come next January.
An Iraq official told the British newspaper, the Guardian, his nation wants a veto over any American military operations in his nation. American military leaders do not wish to give p the right to make decisions over their operations, particularly, since this involves protecting the lives of US soldiers. Prime Minister Maliki recently emphasized, “Iraq has another option that it m ay use. The Iraq government, if it wants, has the right to demand that the UN terminate the presence of international forces on Iraq’s sovereign soil.”
Bush may seek to prevent an Iranian-Iraq coalition, but that may well come about since both governments have close ties. So, in the end, a possible outcome of the Bush invasion of Iraq was to foster an Iraqi-Iran alliance. The unintended consequences of life never cease to surprise.