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Iraq, the unraveling (XXX): What 2010 may bring

In the new issue of the New York Review of Books, Joost Hilterman of the International Crisis Group offers a good summary of why he thinks the coming year will be a turbulent one in Iraq. I think he is right — and that 2010 will stand alongside 2003 and 2007 as a turning point. ...

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In the new issue of the New York Review of Books, Joost Hilterman of the International Crisis Group offers a good summary of why he thinks the coming year will be a turbulent one in Iraq. I think he is right — and that 2010 will stand alongside 2003 and 2007 as a turning point. In short,

…just as Odierno will be pulling out his first combat brigades, starting in March, Iraq will be entering into a period of fractious wrangling over the formation of a new government. If Iraqi national forces fail to impose their control, an absence of political leadership could thus coincide with a collapse in security; if politicians and their allied militias resort to violence, the state, including its intelligence apparatus so critical for maintaining internal stability, could fracture along political, ethnic, and sectarian lines.”

Fasten your seat belts. Meanwhile, here is a bunch of headlines from this morning:

Bfelice/flickr

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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