Global Policy Forum

Baghdad Wants US to Have

Mideast Wire
June 5, 2008

On June 3, the Saudi-owned newspaper Al-Hayat carred the following report: 'Iraqis, both Sunnis and Shi'is, are united on rejecting the US draft treaty on security proposed to Baghdad. A high ranking Iraqi source has revealed to Al-Hayat some of the points of difference between the Iraqi view on limiting US movement, and the US view on demanding freedom of movement. The source said that both parties have made demands that have become points of difference, which are now obstructing the continuity of the negotiations.

"According to the Iraqi source, the United States demanded the right of control of land, sea, and air; the right to detain and imprison any Iraqi that the US Army regards as a security threat; the right to launch military operations and pursue terrorists without recourse to the Iraqi Government; and the right to immunity from Iraqi domestic jurisdiction for all US forces, contractors, and security companies.

"The source explained that "the US side wanted to reserve the right to interpret the concept of terrorism, would not give any guarantee to protect Iraq against any external attack unless it is convinced of the nature of attack, and would not provide security to the Iraqi regime against internal or external dangers, which means no guarantee of protection against a military coup regardless of the results of elections."

"The Iraqi Government also made several demands, according to the source. Its demands included that the United States negotiate with the Iraqi Government "as a sovereign government"; that no facilities be granted to the Americans without prior agreement of the Iraqi Government; that the US bases be temporary and their status reviewed annually like the US bases in Turkey; that the US forces do not leave their temporary bases without the prior knowledge and agreement of the Iraqi Government; that US Army finances be conducted through the Iraqi Central Bank; and that the US forces do not carry out any military operation without obtaining prior written agreement from the Iraqi Government.

"Also among the Iraqi demands, according to the source, are that the Americans do not detain or imprison any Iraqi without the Iraqi Government's prior agreement; that the US forces be granted a specific number of pathways in Iraqi airspace to be agreed upon and selected with the Iraqi Government; that immunity of US soldiers from Iraqi jurisdiction be limited to the duration of military operations that have been approved by the Iraqi Government; and lastly, that the Americans pay annual rent for the land on which they set up their temporary bases.

"The source stressed that "if the negotiations reach a deadlock we would have no choice but to go back to the UN Security Council to extend the presence of the US forces in Iraq for another six months or a year, which means going beyond the time remaining for the present US Administration."

"The United States has tried to defend its position by pointing out that it took care to include in the agreement the Iraqi people's wish not to have permanent US bases in Iraq.

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