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12 October 2011

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Pirouz

Mt guess is the Iraqis have calculated that American leadership will protect the interests of Lockheed Martin (F-16) and General Dynamics (M1), among others, and grudgingly concede to these terms. And if they don't, there's always Eurofighter GmbH and Nexter.

turcopolier

pirouz

your guess is wrong. such a decision is politically impossible. american soldiers are not mamelukes. pl

Matthew

Col: It is because of developments like these that the Saudi Ambassador plot seems so unbelievable....

DanM

On the one hand, I've expected all along there would be no SOFA for a large presence of troops (Iraqi politics has made this clear for years). On the other hand, I assumed that some sort of deal would be worked out for 3,000-5,000 trainers on bases along the lines of -- we wont hold you to Iraqi law as long as you stay on the base.

Absent immunity, we won't stay at all. I'm having trouble believing this is the end of the story.

Phil Giraldi

DanM-Thank God it's the "end of the story." This story has been unfolding for far too long. The Iraqi government certainly knows its SOFA-less condition is a game breaker and is signalling its intent to chart a new course. Wonder what will happen to the 17,000 State Department employees and the 7,000 Mamelukes guarding them?

jonst

"COIN is a diseased doctrinal shrub that bears bitter fruit"....true enough, true enough. Except, that is, for the people who financially profit from pushing it. Might fruitful for them.

My guess is look for 'contractors' to take their place.

Robert C.

Wow...., I wish BO could stick to his principles like Talabani.

RC

turcopolier

Phil G.

The structure of Embassy Baghdad is clearly intended to support an indefinite viceregal presence. Since this is not going to happen, I would expect to see steady shrinkage in the numbers. pl

William R. Cumming

I would abandon the huge embassy (probably will be taken over by the Chinese or Iranians) and let Iraq stew for a decade until they again rebuild power projection and take over Kuwait and the Gulf states. And this time no intervention to save the Saudis. Why? Large oil and gas discoveries in W. Hemisphere and soon to be departure of Chavez and the Castro brothers. Thus declining importance of MENA to USA. A troubling spot is Nigeria that is huge supplier to USA and now majority Islamic with Christian/Muslim fighting already evident. Perhaps a partition.

J

Colonel, Phil,

So what will the multimillion dollar Baghdad embassy boondoggle become, just another high-priced taxpayer paid-for potted plant urn?

DanM

The Dips will be protected by an army of contractors who are subject to Iraqi law... wonder what the premium on that will be? (Clearly, the Colonel is right).

turcopolier

DanM

A fortresslike presence to house a gaggle of diplomats who are protected by an army of mercenaries armed with light weapons is an untenable concept. Baghdad is a long way from friendly territory or the sea. pl

Norbert M Salamon

Large oil and gas discoveries in W hemisphere are probably a dream except if one talks of SHALE GAS & OIL, where the deplation rate is almost logarithmic, depending on never ending new wells and fracking. It appears that this is not fiancially or ecologically possible [see Texas just restricted fraking for lack of H2O].

Do not put too much into the iminent departure of either the Castro brothers [they do not have too much oil] as their policies of gradual change will not effect US interest. It is unlikely that the poor of Venezuela are intersted in giving their pil to Uncle Sam, especiually as almot the whole world is intersted snd already invested in the Orinico Heavy oil play, which is larger than Saudi's total according to Saudi sources[and the US Geographical Survey]- it is also expensive in Energy out for Energy invested! Do recall that Brazil is a net importer [notwithstanding their ethanol production] as their deep sea prospects are slow to come to production.

The problem of oil is not [at present] that there are no prospects, it is the problem of marginal cost, a cost which is so large as to put OECED countries in to recession alreaqdy, without Canadain Tar Sands being a big player [2m per dqay at new cost of 80+ per barrel and lot of water, gas].

It does appear that China can grow at $110 per barrel, while USA has great problems when WTI is over $80 - even as Lousinana light oil is trading Noprth of $100.

turcopolier

NMS

All right, you have convinced me. We will just have to take yours. Sorry. pl

Norbert M Salamon

Colonel:

I am aware of that possibility lot of international players in Alberta. The problerm is building the infrastructure [see the mess with Idaho and parts tranfer] a very expensive proposition, and long time in realization. The best prognosis is of slow incremental growth, while conventional oil is declining. Please NOTE WELL CANADA IMPORTS almost as much as it exports -so Uncle sam could not get too much, even if she tried.

The problem is global, the solution must be also global, wherein the USA [espcially. but most of Europe also [as also Canada] has to curtail use in short order apprecitaveli so, , to allow for transition.

turcopolier

NMS

Think about statehood. pl

Fred

NMS

If Canada wants to poison Alberta's water supply by fracking to allow a company to make some excess profits more power to you - just don't poison mine.

Fred

NMS

If Canada wants to poison Alberta's water supply by fracking to allow a company to make some excess profits more power to you - just don't poison mine.

Fred

Amen.

Cal

http://www.uspolicy.be/headline/remarks-world-bank-high-level-meeting-afghanistan

Hillary's not going to let us leave Iraq.
The very serious children with I.Q.'s
of a raisin at the State Dept have come
up with a "Marshall Plan" for Iraq....
according to them it will be the largest
Re Building venture since the original
Marshall Plan.

With typical gov employee reasoning they figure the savings from withdrawing troops can now be spent on private contractors to re build Iraq's infastructure.

I can't comment further on this or I'd be booted
off for profanity.

Cal

Bingo...see my link below.

markfromireland

Colonel, I have to wonder whether it's worth having an Embassy in Baghdad at all for the US at present. Once American forces depart is Baghdad not likely to go from being merely unfriendly territory for US diplomats to downright hostile and dangerous. As to the mercenaries "protecting" those diplomats and the embassy are they not more likely to be a source of insecurity than of protection? There are a lot people in Baghdad to say nothing of governorates such as Anbar who have scores to settle with mercenaries.

markfromireland

Basilisk

Hmmm, sounds like an argument for a riverine patrol force on the Tigris and Euphrates to protect the diplomatic presence, Where is PANAY now that we need her?

toto

Sir,

What's the probability that these "conditions" are merely intended for internal consumption, to placate the Iraqi public opinion, while the actual conditions (negotiated behind the scene) will turn out to be very different in practice?

I don't think there is any official immunity for CIA-affiliated agents in Pakistan, but that didnt' prevent the US from repatriating Raymond Davis (and his apparently intractable road rage problems).

Green Zone Cafe

There is definitely a bit of unease among those in the U.S. Mission right now, everybody wonders what might happen if the troops go, or if the troops stay, given Moqtada's threats. It's more difficult for civilian security convoys to move every day, licensing checks and changes to policy are asserted every day at checkpoints. Staff in the embassy are holed up in the embassy compound; they don't even get out in the Green Zone much anymore.

There are now ten Iraqi convoys of armored vehicles for every expat one: the Iraqi personal security guards have adopted all of the driving techniques, hand gestures and mannerisms of Americans in Triple Canopy.

I still think some troops will stay, at least some cadres of special operations forces rotated in and out of places like Balad, Al Asad, or Basra. Their presence can be classified.

As much as Iraqis are sick of Americans, I think Maliki feels some presence is a useful hedge to all of the militias, terrorists and generals who might bother him.

The next four months will be "interesting."

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