Strategic risks associated with U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq
We make four policy recommendations based on this
1. Support: Continue to actively support the development of stability and democracy in Iraq.
2. Stay: Select optimal risk-benefit balance between no
withdrawal and limited withdrawal.
3. Endure: Maintain an enduring advisory mission to
help develop Iraq’s security forces.
4. Improve: Help the Iraqi military improve
civil-military relations over time.
The U.S. has removed two of its four Patriot antimissile batteries from Saudi Arabia and another two in the Mideast partly because tensions with Iran have eased from a peak earlier this year, according to a U.S. official.
The two batteries in Saudi Arabia were helping protect the country’s oil fields and are likely to be replaced by Saudi Patriot batteries, according to the official, who asked not to be identified discussing the change. More than 12 Patriot batteries and one THAAD battery, which can intercept ballistic missiles at higher altitudes, remain in the region, the official added.
The four Patriot batteries were scheduled to be withdrawn in March but their redeployment was delayed after two rocket attacks at Camp Taji in Iraq in mid-March, according to the official. The U.S. blamed the strikes on Iranian-backed militias.