tv Inside Story 2020 Ep 6 Al Jazeera January 7, 2020 2:32pm-3:00pm +03
charges that he denies he says that his family had nothing to do with his the scaife forces loyal to the libyan general he for have to object to the center of sirte that's a coastal city east of the capital tripoli and also sees the nearby alcott to be a airbase one of the largest military installations so it is to teach an important to have to as months long offensive to seize tripoli where libya's u.n. recognized government has placed foot as well as opposition leaders planning to return to power in 2 days after soldiers blocked him from seeking reelection as speaker both quite oh and his rival a dissident deputy backed by the direct government a pledge to leave the next parliamentary session. so those are the headlines the news continues here on al-jazeera after inside story structure that's off 5.
and 3. growing fallout over the killing of iran stopped military leaders iraq's parliament votes were expelled foreign troops now president trump is threatening sanctions against baghdad so what will this mean for the u.s. presence in iraq and what consequences for the wider region this is inside so. my. to go and welcome to the program fully back to the middle east is grappling with the united states assassination of costs and some in monny in an extraordinary session on sunday iraq's parliament voted to remove foreign troops from the country
caretaker prime minister idol abdul mahdi says the government is preparing legal and procedural steps to implementing that resolution has provoked an angry response from u.s. president donald trump is threatening what he calls very big sanctions on iraq if american troops are forced to leave nato ambassadors meanwhile held an urgent meeting on monday to discuss the escalating events the ona and suspended its training mission in iraq fearing soldiers could be attacked in reprisal for killing from baghdad simona fulton explains what happens next each one of the countries that has troops here in iraq including the u.s. but also other countries like the u.k. and france they have their own agreements with the iraqi government that govern the presence of these troops and those agreements to pollute exactly how is the how these agreements have to be terminated what happened was that parliament passed a decision not a law calling on the government to draft legislation to expel foreign troops now
what would have to happen next is that the government would actually have to draw up a bill that bill would have to be sent back to parliament to be discussed and to be voted on the thing that. complicate this further is that the government is currently in a caretaker role after prime minister resigned in the ongoing anti-government protest so we would also 1st have to have a new prime minister nominated that prime minister would then have to form a new government and that government would have to draft this bill now under the current agreement between the u.s. and iraq that also governs the presence of military troops here there would need to be at least a year notice to cancel this agreement so it doesn't seem likely that we will see the departure of foreign troops anytime soon and let's also remember that while there was sufficient majority in parliament to vote for this decision the sunni's and the kurds did not participate in the session and they are calling for
a time to discuss such to decisions they don't believe that such decisions should be politicized and taken in haste what was significant however was that prime minister out of them at the himself attended the session and he spoke out in favor of the expulsion of foreign troops and that is something that we haven't really seen since 2014 when the government invited u.s. troops to take part in the fight against iceland so far we have seen prime ministers take a more balanced position to manage their relations with both the u.s. and iran but with essentially seen here is the current caretaker government clearly taking a side and asking for u.s. troops to leave. now here are some of the countries with troops in iraq the u.s. has at least 5200 soldiers as part of the international coalition against eisel it announced the deployment of 3500 x. or stroup so the region to boost security. killing 400 british personnel in iraq
canada has 850 soldiers supporting iraqi security forces and leading the nato training mission australia has about 350 and france has a 1000 in iraq and syria combined to help the fight against. the earth or less introduce our panel now in washington d.c. richard vice a u.s. defense analyst in geneva by skype rickly head of global risk at the geneva center for security policy and here in doha zaid on our middle east sam listen an independent research on identity politics in iraq welcome to you all gentlemen thank you for being on inside story richard in washington d.c. let me start with you the withdrawal of u.s. troops in iraq was something donald trump has wanted since he took office over 3 years ago it was a campaign promise he promised to get u.s. troops out of the middle east so why is he now threatening iraq with sanctions
should it force u.s. troops to leave. well even if he wants to you remove u.s. troops now he doesn't want to be look like they're being thrown out but more generally the president trump has as he said campaigned on reducing u.s. foreign military interventions getting allies to take more of the burden financial and otherwise and was not did not favor the original u.s. intervention in iraq but in office he has like many previous presidents moderated his position he's listened to pressure from the national clergy security establishment from the u.s. congress from u.s. allies and partners and kept troops in afghanistan iraq and even syria longer than he might have life and i think that's what we're seeing now that he's been advised that withdrawal of u.s. forces from iraq abruptly would open the door to isis would encourage sectarianism in iraq and so on and so he's trying to make getting chop of the decision if
there's going to be a u.s. withdrawal session he would want to make it on what he thinks is the best timetable on the one point of view of the pentagon in the iraqi defense situation so easy easy likely to go ahead with this threat to impose sanctions on iraq if they were to go ahead with this withdrawal is that just rhetoric because of course the race could be here to further push iraq into iran say of influence. right well so another feature of president francois policy is that he often will use a strategy of escalate to deescalate so he's making a lot of bold rhetoric moving u.s. forces into the reason and so on but the ultimate goal is to d.s. to lay the crisis and ideally eventually get the security situation when the u.s. forces can withdraw from iraq so that's how i see these threats i don't think that he would implement them or at least that he plans to do so at present unless something changes but they do have the effect he thinks of persuading the iranians
iraqis and others to be more responsive to his demands before i bring in our other guests richard i just want to pick up on what you just said that if if the ultimate goal of president trump is to deescalate the crisis as you say why then risk killing confidence in him money. right that decision making process isn't totally clear yet from media reports he was given a range of options in response to the killing of a u.s. contractor and a siege in the u.s. embassy and he chose this as the optimal response there are some administrations represented her saying there is a risk of an imminent threat to the u.s. forces there were other i mean this the target had a wrong record of being involved in anti-u.s. activities held responsible for killing of a number of u.s. forces so that may be why we don't precisely know yet what the decision making
process was all right is a done i cannot let me bring into the conversation the resolution to expel foreign troops from iraq barely passed in iraqi parliament the session as you know was boycotted by most of the sunni and kurdish members of parliament so they are clearly divisions in iraq within iraq as to what the way forward should be it is the government in a position really to to say that it wants to end foreign military visit presence in iraq today of course not that's not in a position to do so and that is the very same political class or the ethnic sectarian quota class and those installed by those use of u.s. troops that is just a political show to satisfy the iranian influence interests in the iraqi government and an iraqi domestic affairs the iraqi government to realize that the iraqi government must give something in return for the loss of general zinni money to the iranian government the way that in that way they will must stand up against the
u.s. even if it's in a symbolic way while they would realize that the u.s. wouldn't withdrawals are doing just what is involved in their ways easing this is just symbolic and that the government will not i mean this is a caretaker government of course so automatically the decision will lie with the next government do you think that the they will not go ahead with this though they might go ahead with it but they might realize that. this won't happen without the blessings of donald trump donald trump made it very clear that if he ever wants to with withdraw the u.s. troops from iraq he will do it under his own conditions and not in a way where he would be kicked out of iraq and even if they did withdraw even if the u.s. troops would withdraw from iraq there are still military bases in iraq so the question is that the parliament vote against the withdrawal of all the u.s. troops including the ones in the military bases or only the temporary ones that came throughout the contemporary partnership during the war against isis if it's only the troops from the 2nd option then the troops on the 1st option would still
allow the u.s. to have a very prominent military strategic influence in iraq whether it's against the iraqis the iraqi people's destiny or against the iranian influence in iraq right john locke rickly european forces on the ground caught in the crossfire of this escalation between tehran and washington well they have any influence on any withdrawal process if it was to happen. well the ill inference that the europeans have will be diplomatic if we have a few months europeans have very little leverage on the politics in the gulf we've seen that when them trump announced with throwing its forces from syria although the operation was maintained to fight isis a de operation and led by the european had to be scaled down because the european relies on the backbone of us meet in derision we also see. the
defect that european where powerlessness when they try to. implement this barter system in order to gura u.s. sanctions against iran does the bar just becoming them call in stick with sort of the euro going generates doesn't mind teen and has been. not workable since then so the europeans are totally rely militarily on the american to exert any kind of leverage in the region all right richard your font in washington what consequences for him to switch lead iraq the state department says that the presence of the so-called global coalition is needed to defeat eisel but already that suspended operations again feisal following the death of customs in iran right so the u.s. troops are there primarily for 2 purposes one is to combat terrorists and
protect lay isom there's a fear resurgence in iraq and it along iraq syria border in particular and there to train the iraqi security forces to form this role and become develop other skills so if the u.s. forces are confined to base for force protection reasons or a withdraw then. the iraqi security forces wouldn't have the support and i still would be faced less resistance so what would probably happen is i think the iranians would try and fill that gap but if they do that's just going incurred the sectarian split in the iraqi national security forces that alarmed the kurds and the sunni's so i think it could be counterproductive so this is why i think that they're you know the iraqi decision makers are we've got a time got to balance their need to as our previous guest said appease iran versus the danger of what would happen if you do pull 'd out all the western forces from
iraq but if u.s. troops were to leave iraq that would leave their forces in the region in syria in particular vulnerable as well would it not necessarily so they leave iraq but the only moon i mean they have bases as throughout the region much some much larger than iraq so they could pretty much perform any operation other than perhaps some iraqi counterterrorism and training missions so if they needed to engage in a war with iran for example they could easily do so not using iraqi bases so that would be the main cost would be for the counterterrorism in iraq and then secondarily in syria because iraq syrian border so porous and i think what you know flows across that still they don't is every iraq he behind this decision to expel foreign troops from that country because the protests that we've seen in
recent months in baghdad and various other iraqi cities has not just announced the presence of foreign troops of u.s. troops in iraq but also even yet influence in iraq so if iraq ease today at corn and enough for 6 years between the u.s. and iran who's the safest choice for them the safest choice is to have both of them . leave iraq the entire reason why why this escalation or this the tension escalated between the u.s. and iran is because both of them were trying to orchestrate something that would pull the attention away from the iraqi uprisings that began in early october the iraqi led a rocky youth led movement that began in early october 2019 flip the entire equation the equation of the balance of power between several regional power players in iraq where beyond the u.s. and the iranian rivalry in iraq but if we were to look at both of them if we look at the consequence of the sequence of the of the events starting from the base in
a kind of cool corner the american contractor civilian got killed it's very obvious that iran try to orchestrate something to pull the attention away from the protests that carried a very heavy anti iran sentiment a very heavy sentiment against the iranian dominance and influence in iraq and of course that influence came along with the u.s. invasion in 2003 just adding to the point that richard mentioned the reason why the u.s. would like to stay in iraq is not because they want to fight isis or because they would like to support the iraqi armed forces which they themselves destroyed when they invaded iraq if if if the iraqi security really mattered if the iraqi national security really mattered to the u.s. they wouldn't have the story the armed forces they wouldn't have the story the police force in iraq and that's a militarily vulnerable iraq to iran the safest choice to the majority of the iraqis is to have no external factors being present in iraq but they don't let me ask you that if that if you say that's the safest choice would iraq be in a position to defend its sovereignty without that u.s.
presence the presence of foreign to stand any raw iran in fact because as we saw what happened with with i still you know iraqi forces needed that external that external 8. that external aid what was what was it was in addition to the fight against isis if we look at the numbers of soldiers and the numbers of sacrifices and the war against isis most of them came from the iraqi people themselves despite of the components of the societies whether they were the shias so news or even kurds most of the people who fought in the war against isis where they rocky people of course they're going to receive the support of regional power players or the u.s. or the international coalition the u.s. house have to stand up against isis with iraq since it was a country that allowed a vulnerable iraq to be. attacked by a terrorist movement of course iran would support to the iraqi people or the iraqi government in its war against isis because it fears that that expansion that isis
expansion would have reached iran or it would have limited the powers of its very own pro iran militias on the ground and in the iraqi political arena they iraqi people can definitely face any challenges and obstacles ok it is the iraqi people that double the equation which allowed the u.s. and iran to go become so aggressive and send it to the extent that they even killed one of what their top generals are just somebody ronnie is i'm not directly do you agree with say don is iraq in a position to defend its sovereignty today if for him to swear to leave well that would be very complicated i think because the iraqi forces have been depleted after u.s. invasion in 2003 also the iraqi society is deeply divided and therefore that will be very difficult to come up with a strong government but beyond domestic factors if the american troops the west ready to leave iraq without leaving iraq as well then that would
prob least trenton disappearing divide into gold and straight into position in iran in the middle east and that would be perceived. as. being prepped to do a radio very unstable situation in the gulf and therefore we could 1st see where we end this coalition of violence in the region richard your thoughts they don seems to think that the problems lies with the foreign presence in iraq in that iraqis would be able to to basically assure their own security if these foreign troops were to leave do you agree with that that's possible i mean i still was severely weakened there is there are some reports that it's reconstruct in itself but you know it is possible that the iraqi security forces have been sufficiently trained they can work with the kurds or other forces to do this but the what the scenario would probably doesn't happen though is if the u.s.
leaves it's not i don't why would iran leave i mean i think what would happen is the u.s. and what nato forces would leave but then the iranian presence would grow and that would strengthen icefall that would lead. sunni's to join and so i think that's the scenario more likely to get rather than if you withdraw i mean it would be in for in principle a great if you could draw foreign forces and have iraqi untalented guaranteed in security interest carrots or any guarantee but it's hard to say you get there from where we are now the u.s. certainly until now is upping the threat against iran even though they say they want to deescalate and don't want regime change here and i think it's very difficult for a lot of people to understand what the ultimate u.s. strategy is here is day one to start with. well you know the goals of the u.s. are stated so it's counterterrorism counterrevolution train strength in the rock and sovereignty work with allies and partners elsewhere in the middle east and so
on balance to get a call that or a call security situation and how you get there is a hotly debated topic so the strategy and paper hasn't changed that much but some of the recent developments have made it very good certainly much more complicated and now i think you know the u.s. wants to retain a military presence for now in iraq it wants to to counter a rainy attacks on u.s. forces that have and passing could occur in the future in iraq or elsewhere and then it's just a question of tactics i think as i said i think the president trump strategy is to make the fear of war so. strong in the minds of the rain and decision makers and others that we will diffuse the crisis just to avoid a major concert gratian say don't do you think this is a strategy that could work in this region in iraq and in other countries. of course
it could it wouldn't work in that way because the us in itself is using iraq as a playground against the iranian influence iraq is being because it is becoming a battlefield between iran and the us so in the end of the inventor of the day the us never looked into the region whether it be iraq syria or lebanon or yemen as places where they would like to impose their soldiers to defend them from an evil or an unhealthy influence such as they reign in regional influence the the the us presence in iraq today is to maintain its power in the region it's to maintain its military muscles across the world the same the present the us military presence in iraq is based on the very same reasons why it came in 2003 when i ran into one yeah let me ask you about other arab countries i.e. saudi arabia would they help iraq to keep iran at bay of course they wouldn't that the reason why you are one of the main reasons why you iraq became so military
vulnerable to iran and politically and socially vulnerable is because iraq never received an arab support to support the arab identity or the if there is such an r. a persian rivalry between iraq being the gate of the arab world against iran iraq had to face the rainy and had your moniker regional expansionism due to them it's a do to due to the destructive us invasion by itself saudi arabia was never there for you iraq if we were look for an arab country that ever supported iraq against iran turkey was never there for you iraq against iran if we were to consider turkey to be the the regional power player which is more interested in creating a unified a sunni front against iran and in direct way so no no one stood up for iraq right i'll give you the last word in geneva do you think it's too late for diplomacy to avert a major escalation in this region following the assassination. there's been a lot of talk in the last few days of a major conflicts possibly between iran and the united states is can diplomacy
still work. well there are too late for diplomacy to to kick in i fink that it will be difficult as that was mentioned in washington it's collation to deescalate the probably a strategy is that the retaliation now by the iranian and the level of retaliation will define the us response so european sweller russian and cheney is will have a really hard time to convince both already to back down if one is considered as having gone too far and this is the case for now with the killing of slim mammie we have to wait for the iranian response but you prefer being that it would target you troops or even american civilians into region it would be very very difficult for our. allies to to put pressure on president
to to back them gentlemen thank you very much for a very interesting discussion i'm sure we'll have the opportunity to further explore this crisis in the coming days here on al-jazeera which advice is it on our mark rickly thank you very much for being on inside story and thank you as well for watching you can always watch this program again any time by visiting our website at al-jazeera dot com for further discussion go to our facebook page that's facebook dot com for slash a.j. inside story you can of course also join the conversation on twitter handle is that a.j. inside story from the fully back to born the whole team thank you for watching but for now thank you and. talked to al jazeera we were told to get to that because through all the pressure has this been addressed by turkey we listen what is the proposal of spain for
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the most persecuted minorities in the world. a stampede kills dozens of mourners at the funeral for a raid in general because some saw the money as burial planned for tuesday last night in the spawned. i'm how magazine and this is al jazeera live from doha also coming up confusion over the future of u.s. troops in iraq the pentagon says the general's letter about withdrawal plans was a mistake. a suspended sentence for a british woman found guilty.
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