U.S. Looks at Cuts to Military Aid to Iraq
The Trump administration is preparing possible cuts of $250 million in military aid to Iraq, funds already approved by Congress, if the government expels U.S. troops, and is reconsidering a broad spectrum of other economic and military assistance that isn’t yet committed, The Wall Street Journal reports
The State Department and the Department of Defense have discussed the military assistance funds in emails reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The emails indicate that the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs is working to cut all $250 million in funds under the U.S. foreign military financing program for Iraq for the current fiscal year.
The bureau also plans to ask the White House Office of Management and Budget whether it can eliminate the $100 million request for fiscal year 2021, “due to current optics on the ground,” according to the emails.
The emails assert that no final decision has been made, but top administration officials have ordered a review of what funds may be held or reallocated in the event Iraq requires the U.S. troops be removed.
- Trump to Announce Further Reduction in US Troops in Iraq A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters news agency in August that the country expected to reduce the number of its troops in Iraq by about a third in the coming months.
- Rockets Target Iraqi Military Base Housing US Forces The rocket strike is the latest in a long-running series of low-level attacks believed to be carried out by Iran-sponsored militias in Iraq.
- Iraq Arrests ISIS Leader Abdulnasser al-Qirdash Said to Be al-Baghdadi’s Successor The latest raid that led to the capture and arrest of al-Qirdash comes a month after Mustafa al-Kadhimi, Iraq’s former intelligence chief, became the country’s prime minister.
- Iraq Closes Southern Border with Iran to Travelers The security source said Tehran had demanded the closure because of ongoing public protests in both Iran and Iraq.
- Pentagon Now Says 50 service Members Suffered Brain Injuries from Iran Attack Officials have acknowledged that it can take time for the concussion-like symptoms to present themselves.
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