Caught at the intersection of geopolitics and the goals of his domestic allies, Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shia’ Al-Sudani is in a difficult position. The Shiite Coordination Framework, a constellation of Iran-backed parties which made Sudani’s premiership possible, has been expected to press for a reassessment of Iraq’s relationship with the US.
Failing to reduce Washington’s influence could cost Sudani vital political support. Yet pursuing confrontation with the US could have far-reaching economic and security consequences that could upset the fragile stability Iraq currently enjoys. As a result, the political status quo has largely remained intact since Sudani took office last October.
Over the past 15 years, Iraq’s relationship with the US has been governed by a series of framework accords. In the aftermath of the American-led invasion in 2003, the first such document was the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). Signed in Nov. 2008 after negotiations between former US president George W. Bush (2001-9) and Iraqi ex-premier Nouri Al-Maliki (2006-14), the agreement mandated...
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