So it’s come to this.
McClatchy’s Leila Fadel reports that Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of U.S. troops in Iraq, is telling the obstinate Maliki government that unless it signs a Status of Forces Agreement with the U.S. before the end of the year, the U.S. is going to leave Iraq with no money, no security and probably no Halloween candy.
Army Gen. Ray Odierno, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq, informed Iraqi officials last week that if their country doesn’t agree to a new agreement governing American forces in Iraq, it would lose $6.3 billion in aid for construction, security forces and economic activity and another $10 billion a year in foreign military sales.
The warning was spelled out in a three-page list that was shown to McClatchy on Monday. Iraqi officials consider the threat serious and worry that the impasse over the so-called status of forces agreement could lead to a crisis in Iraq. Without a new agreement or a renewed United Nations mandate, the U.S. military presence would become an illegal occupation under international law.
The agreement, as I reported, bends over backward to accomodate the Iraqis — and they still don’t want it. Why not just go back to the U.N. for another mandate? The Iraqis told Fadel’s colleague Roy Gutman that they’ll probably just have to do that anyway. But ask yourself: Is threatening to take your toys and go home the way that superpowers behave?