Why Three Senior American Officials Visited Iraq in a Month?

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Farzad Farhad Tooski
Expert on Middle East Issues

Iraq is currently grappling with inflammatory political and security conditions. On the one hand, Iraqi forces continue to fight the Daesh terrorist group while, on the other hand, the country is in the clutches of an intense political crisis. In the meantime, however, the recently increasing number of surprise visits by American officials to this country has been thought-provoking.

A plane carrying the US Vice President Joe Biden recently landed in Baghdad where he met and conferred with a number of Iraqi officials including Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, and parliament speaker, Salim al-Jabouri.

This trip by a person, who theorized disintegration of Iraq, is important in that it took place for the first time since American troops left Iraq in 2011 and this was the third prominent American official to visit the war-stricken country in April. Before Biden, US Secretary of State John Kerry, and Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, had visited Iraq respectively on April 8 and 18.

The trip took place at a time that there are ongoing talks about retaking the northern Iraqi city of Mosul from Daesh. However, perhaps what has stirred concern in Washington and caused Joe Biden to visit Iraq is the current turmoil in the country’s political conditions, which will not be beneficial to US Democrats in the forthcoming presidential polls, which have been slated for November.

In fact, Democrat officials at the White House are trying to take advantage of the foreign factor to increase the chances of the Democrat Party winning in the upcoming presidential election. It is important to them that Iraq’s security, military, political and economic conditions become stable, even relatively, before new presidential election is held in the United States.

Washington is well aware of the relationship that exists between politics and security, and any form of political instability will have negative effects on the war against Daesh. The killing of former al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden, increased US President Barack Obama’s chances for reelection, and his success against Daesh will insure chances of Democrats for remaining in power in the United States. If this happens, it would be an unprecedented development for Democrats in the history of presidential election of the United States.

At any rate, what has made Obama’s deputy to pay a visit to Iraq is a host of important issues, among which the following are worthy of mention:

- The United States’ is concerned about disruption of political conditions in Iraq as a result of what has happened in this country during recent weeks and frequent calls by some Iraqi lawmakers for three top officials, that is, the president, parliament speaker and prime minister to step down, which can push Iraq to the brink of a very dangerous situation. Of course, after last week’s parliament session, this risk has greatly decreased, but the situation in the country is still hectic. Prominent cleric, Moqtada Sadr, has announced that his supporters will continue protests if reforms are not carried out and Iraqi lawmakers, on the other hand, are not ready to give up their demands.

- If there is going to be an operation to retake Mosul from Daesh, it must be carried out before the hot season. Therefore, Obama deputy’s Iraq visit may be also related to a possible military operation.

- Through global conflicts, Iraq has enjoyed a special position for Americans and the fact that Obama has sent Biden, who is in charge of the Iraq dossier, to Baghdad, proves importance of Iraq for the United States.

- The forthcoming presidential election in the United States is of special importance for Democrats and they don’t want the Iraq case to turn into a factor for their defeat in this fateful election.

Key WordsSenior American Officials, Visit, Iraq, Daesh, Haider al-Abadi, Salim al-Jabouri, Joe Biden, John Kerry, Ashton Carter, US Democrats, Presidential Election, Moqtada Sadr, Mosul, Parliament, Barack Obama, Farhad Tooski

Source: Mehr News Agency
Translated By: Iran Review.Org

*Photo Credit: Josh Lederman/Associated Press

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