The lesson of Baghdad by George Friedman

The piece by George Friedman talks about the development of strategies in Iraq after the U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq announced by Obama administration. The article has been published by Stratfor and can be found here.

There are several scenarios that can play out, but the author strongly believes that Iran will maintain its attempts to influence Iraqi policies. This will come, the author further states, through transnational identity theory that Gause argues in his book, where Iran will use Shia majority in Iraq as an extended arm to reach out to the policies that favors their dominance in the region.

In addition, the author argues that the withdrawal of U.S. troops was not entirely wanted by all Iraqis. The Sunni and Kurds in particular did not want their withdrawal, but this occurred due to the Iraqi turbulent politics that would not agree to grant the United States a permission to establish military bases in the Kurdish region of Iraq.

Furthermore, the Saudis have also kept an interest in the region and offered tacit support of Sunnis without trying to irritate the Shia majority in the country.

United States and Saudi Arabia, the author concludes, will be important factors in Iraq trying to keep ties with Iraqis and at the same time trying to avoid Iran to establish themselves as a dominant force in the region.

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