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US Angers Baghdad - Russia Becomes Key Broker of Iraqi Energy Politics

• russia-insider.com

Russian steps, US misstep, in Iraq

Russian President Vladimir Putin repositioned himself as a key broker of Iraqi energy politics last week, while US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was scolded by the Iraqi government for his comments about Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units (PMU).

Given America's history and assets in Iraq, it seems a reach that Russia could be outflanking the United States in Iraq, as we suggested last week. But while Putin choreographs each move with a wary and calculating eye on Iran and the ever-shifting regional landscape, the United States limits its options by seeing every Iranian move as adversarial and in zero-sum terms, which only serves to frustrate Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who prefers that the United States and Iran not play out their hostility in Iraq.

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