The UN authorization that allows US troops in Iraq expires at the end of this year, so the US has three options:
- Get a new authorization from the UN, which is not very likely.
- Get the Iraqi government to sign an agreement allowing the US to stay in Iraq.
- Remove all troops from Iraq (!)
The Bush administration has been pursuing option #2, but despite a virtually hand-picked government in Iraq and an attempt to get this agreement signed in relative secrecy, the effort is starting to backfire spectacularly. Initially, the agreement that the US tried to get signed was stunningly lopsided. It tried to establish over 200 bases in Iraq, gave immunity not only to all US soldiers in Iraq, but also to all private contractors, gave the US control of Iraqi airspace, allowed the US to arrest any Iraqi for any (or no) reason, and several other provisions that the Iraqi government has now rejected.
At this point, if no agreement can be reached, the US will have no choice but to withdraw our troops by the end of this year. Wouldn’t that be ironic? For perhaps the first time, the incompetence of the Bush administration would be responsible for actually doing something that the American people actually want.