The Iranians certainly think they've won in Iraq

DoD photo by Pfc. Shane Samuels, U.S. Army

Stephen Smith, left, a member of a provincial reconstruction team, shakes hands with the owner of a micro power generator, after the opening ceremony for the Shohada Market Micro Power Generator East in Kut, Iraq, Feb. 22, 2010.

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  • US withdrawal from #Iraq is a victory to #Iran

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  • Iran has scored important and damaging victory over US in #Iraq

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  • Prospects of responding to failure in #Iraq after withdrawal are dim

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Efforts by the Obama administration and its allies to paint the failure to achieve an agreement for which they have been actively negotiating as a success in Iraq are unimpressive in themselves. Their argument, stated most cogently by one of the lead negotiators of both this and the previous accord with Iraq, Brett McGurk, is roughly that the negotiations themselves revealed the new maturity and independence of Iraqi politics. That new maturity and independence, they argue, unfortunately led to the inability of both sides to agree on language granting American troops immunity from Iraqi laws, and, therefore, to the scuttling of the negotiations. McGurk argues explicitly that the failure of the negotiations did not result from Iranian pressure or interference, but rather proves the success of policies in Iraq to date.

Frederick W. Kagan is director of the Critical Threats Project at AEI

Read the full text of this article at www.criticalthreats.org

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