CNN’s Michael Ware talks to Matt Duss about Iran’s deep influence in Iraq and the key role Iran played in constructing the US-Iraq security agreement:
WARE: Iran has a whip hand, or a key hand at least, within the political framework there. So during these negotiations between Baghdad and Washington, Tehran — whether we like it or not — was in the room. Tehran, in some ways, in some fashion, is a party to this agreement. And you’ll see that some of the sticking points and some of the nuances within the negotiations were issues that were very close to the heart of Tehran.
The incredibly operational successes of the counterinsurgency tactics David Petraeus brought to Iraq in 2007 shouldn’t distract us from the extent to which the invasion of Iraq has been a costly strategic debacle. And nothing that’s happened in Iraq since 2007 has changed that. But because the whole thing unfolded in a strategic vacuum absent any ability of the highest levels of the American government to define America’s interests in the region or come up with a way to advance them.