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Iraq's Future!

Interesting Article: "America closes its Iraq war chapter" by EURONEWS / Baghdad published Thursday, September 15th, 2011
An interesting article mentioned that the U.S. military has officially ended its war in Iraq. During the closing remarks, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said; “we undertake this transition today reminding Iraq that it has in the United States a committed friend and a committed partner. We owe it to all of the lives that have been sacrificed in this war not to fail". In Fallujah, the centre of an al-Qaeda insurgency and some of the war’s bloodiest fighting, some among a crowd of thousands burned US flags. In Baghdad there was also despair about the outcome. The last 4,000 US troops will leave by the end of the year. The US military is saying it leaves behind a reformed, well-trained Iraqi army that can meet the challenges ahead. Just what those challenges may be are unclear. So what is next for Iraq?

The question I pose is actually quite broad, and over the course of next year, I will provide various blog entries about Iraq and its future. Today I will discuss some aspects that will affect the U.S exit from the country. For one thing, the U.S. military’s fast-approaching Dec. 31 exit from Iraq, which has no way to defend its airspace, puts Israel in a better place strategically to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities. Iraq has yet to assemble a force of jet fighters, and since the shortest route for Israeli strike fighters to Iran is through Iraqi airspace, observers conclude that the U.S. exit makes the Jewish state’s mission planning a lot easier. Iraq made the first payment in September for 18 F-16s that will not arrive until next fall at the earliest. This means Israel would have a theoretical window of about 12 months if it wants to fly over Iraq unimpeded by the Iraqi air force. Iraq’s ruling Shiite majority has historic ties to Iran’s dominant Shiite society, but Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has warned Tehran against meddling in his country’s politics. In an appearance this month at the Brookings Institution, Mr. Panetta said U.S strikes might set back the nuclear program two years and acknowledged that some Iranian targets remain elusive. Israeli news reports say that Mr. Netanyahu has tried to build a political consensus to strike Iran. Israel’s potent air force includes long-range F-15Is, a specially configured version of the U.S. Air Force Strike Eagle. It is capable of flying low and at night while carrying bunker-busting bombs. On the other spectrum, some in Baghdad are saying that the U.S-led operations have changed Iraq a lot. Iraq today is not only damaged and paralyzed in terms of infrastructure, economy and so on which may be fixed over the years, but it emerges from these nine years with a fragmented and divided society that cannot be fixed. Some are worried about the quality of life and their loved as we leave the country. Most fears that Iraq will be totally on its own. In certain neighborhoods it is a different, once an inner ring of Iraq’s wartime inferno, Falluja is only too eager to say goodbye to nearly nine shattering years of raids, bombings and house-to-house urban combat. At least 200 American troops were killed in this city. Untold thousands of Iraqis died civilians and insurgents who are mourned equally as martyrs. But amid the rebuilding, Falluja remains stranded between its past and present. American military officials folded up the flags and formally concluded their mission at a ceremony on Thursday at the airport in Baghdad, but Falluja’s anger toward the Americans seems almost certain to endure long after they leave. Falluja, the City of Mosques, was once known mainly as a conservative, Sunni Muslim stopover on the road between Baghdad and Syria. An industrial redoubt of about 300,000 people, it exploded onto the American consciousness in March 2004, when insurgents attacked a car carrying four contractors and a cheering mob dragged their charred bodies through the streets, stringing two of them up over a bridge straddling the Euphrates. When a senior Iranian cleric announced last month that he was planning to move to this holy Shiite city to open an office, the furor that erupted offered a glimpse into the future of a complicated relationship. As American troops leave Iraq, Iran certainly ranks high among the beneficiaries of their nearly nine-year presence. As a Shiite power that suffered enormously during an eight-year war with a Sunni-dominated Iraq in the 1980s, Iran now can generally count on closer ties with a friendly Shiite government next door. But the biggest winners of all have been Iraqi Shiites, whose ascent to power reversed nearly 1,400 years of sometimes brutal Sunni domination. And although Iraqi Shiites broadly welcome the departure of the Americans, they seem in no mood to substitute one form of foreign domination for another — and least of all, they say, from Iran. Iraq's future is in front of them, this upcoming year will be very important and we shall see how the country progresses into the democratic nation we know it can be.     



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