The White House announced a future security deal
  with Iraq [AFP]
United States Democrats have condemned a White House plan to forge a new, long-term security agreement with Iraq.

They say it is an attempt by the administration to lock the US into far-reaching military deployment in Iraq before George Bush, the president, leaves office.

The White House announced two months ago it was opening talks with the Iraqi government on a new treaty covering how the countries will relate politically, economically and militarily.

Officials hope to reach a deal later this year.

But critics – including Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama – say the move could be tantamount to embroiling the US permanently in a civil war.

Are their claims justified, and what does the future hold for the US presence in Iraq? Inside Story, with presenter Darren Jordon, investigates.

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