Power Consolidation in Iraq
Next week, Maliki's government will assume control of the Sons of Iraq (SOI) program in Baghdad. Iraq's Shi'a-led government has long viewed the SOI movement, whose roots are in the Sunni-dominant Al-Anbar province, with anxiety and suspicion. As this transfer approaches, many are apprehensive as to the government's plans for these local security forces and wonder what the future holds for them under Iraqi government control. Additionally, with provincial elections fast approaching, Iraq's competing political factions are consolidating their power in order to pursue their various political objectives.