Permanent Bases Watch

The Bush administration may not have succeeded in building a democratic government in Iraq, but it has succeeded in building a corrupt, brutal, and sectarian government that’s willing to “offer the U.S. a long-term troop presence in Iraq and preferential treatment for American investments” as long as the United States promises to help secure Maliki’s government against foreign and domestic threats. This should serve as a reminder that one reason US policy in Iraq keeps failing to produce a stable government, is that American policy objectives are in many ways incompatible with the goal of stability. An unstable Iraqi regime lacking in state capacity or legitimacy is going to be heavily dependent on the United States to maintain power and therefore more susceptible to American influence.