Iraq's Political Progress

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This time last year, security was the prevailing concern of American leaders in Iraq and the dominant topic of discussion at home. Given the decrease in violence over the past year, the focus of the debate and the command has shifted to political issues. This leaves many questioning what kind of political progress has been made. While some inside the Washington DC beltway subscribe to the truism that no political progress has been made in Iraq, ISW president Kimberly Kagan takes exception to this theory. Following her most recent trip to Iraq, Kagan pointed out in a recent panel discussion at the American Enterprise Institute that elections in Iraq are not "the end of a [political] process, but actually the beginning.


With the Iraqi Council of Representatives adjourning this week for a month-long recess without reaching a deal on the law governing the country's upcoming provincial elections, Kagan's panel discussion is quite relevant. What does the future of Iraqi politics hold, and how does that affect our troop commitment in the country?


» Listen to her panel remarks or read the transcript.

<h6>An Iraqi police second lieutenant salutes as he marches past the reviewing stand during a Ministry of Interior, National Police Command graduation ceremony at Camp Blue Diamond in Ramadi, Iraq, July 31, 2008. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Jeremy M. Giacomino/Released).</h6>
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