Iraq at Critical Period

This week, President Barack Obama made a surprise visit to Iraq as part of his overseas tour.  Much has changed in Iraq since Obama's first visit there as a U.S. Senator in July 2008.  During this visit, the Commander-in-Chief said, "This is going to be a critical period, these next 18 months." 


An Op-Ed in today's Wall Street Journal written by ISW President Kimberly Kagan and American Enterprise Institute Resident Scholar Frederick W. Kagan looks at some of the progress that has been made and three issues that make these next 18 months so critical for Iraq.  The three critical issues for Iraq are: national elections most likely in January 2010; major budget problems resulting from the low price of oil; and Arab-Kurd tensions.  Be sure to check out The Promise, and Peril, Ahead for Iraq.

<p align="left">U.S. Army 1st Lt. Nick Ouimet, of 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, writes down concerns voiced by a villager from the area around Albu Sawwat, Iraq, April 3, 2009. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Walter J. Pels/Released)</p>
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