Why Was Iraq Removed From Trump's Travel Ban?

FILE - This undated file image posted on a militant website on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, shows fighters from the al-Qaida linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), now called the Islamic State group, marching in Raqqa, Syria. U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014 ordered the United States into a broad military campaign to “degrade and ultimately destroy” militants in two volatile Middle East nations, authorizing airstrikes inside Syria for the first time, as well as an expansion of strikes in Iraq. (AP Photo/Militant Website, File)

When the revised travel ban is rolled out, take note that one change is that Iraq is no longer on the list of nations that the ban applies to.

That particular change may be due to lobbying by the Iraqi government.

According to CNN:

That included a phone call between President Donald Trump and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on February 10 and an in-person conversation between Abadi and Vice President Mike Pence in Munich on February 18.

Those conversations were followed by discussions between Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and members of the Iraqi government about vetting measures in place that would prevent suspected terrorists from leaving Iraq and coming to the United States. Iraq did not implement new measures; rather, the country provided more detail to US officials about how it screens travelers.

In essence, the Iraqi government is vouching for their own method of vetting, to assure the administration that they’re not letting any riff raff pass through the gates.

It may have gone a bit deeper, however.

Some American national security officials urged Trump to reconsider the risk of offending and burdening Iraq, a partner in the fight against ISIS.

That is the tight rope Trump has to walk, right now.

His base wants all Muslim travel to the U.S. restricted, if not completely cut out. That, however, does not mesh with the very real fight going on across the world to clamp down on ISIS.

We don’t want them over here, but if we’re going to fight them, we can’t do it on their turf without allies on the ground who are familiar with the territory, and the movements of the group.