It was supposed to lock in an indefinite U.S. occupation.
Last year, after the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki indicated that Iraq considered the U.N. Security Council mandate for the U.S. occupation an affront to Iraqi sovereignty, the Bush administration signed a "Declaration of Principles" with Maliki for the future of the U.S.-Iraq relationship. It underscored the prospective terms for an agreement on an indefinite U.S. presence. American and Iraqi negotiators have now spent months working on this accord.
But the latest -- and possibly final -- text of that agreement reveals that the Iraqi government has undermined practically every effort made by the Bush White House to lock in the occupation as an enduring feature of U.S. foreign policy.