Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Quote of the Day

"We’re going to have a prolonged period of government formation. It could take two or three months, [and] it’s likely to be a pretty turbulent process. I think [the government formation process], in and of itself, is not likely to be destabilizing, but it means that the major issues out there aren’t going to be ...

CEERWAN AZIZ/AFP/Getty Images
CEERWAN AZIZ/AFP/Getty Images
CEERWAN AZIZ/AFP/Getty Images

"We're going to have a prolonged period of government formation. It could take two or three months, [and] it's likely to be a pretty turbulent process. I think [the government formation process], in and of itself, is not likely to be destabilizing, but it means that the major issues out there aren't going to be addressed. Things like disputed internal boundaries, Kirkuk, the relationship between federal, regional, and provincial governments -- all of that's going to be on hold until you have a new government.

"That means that things aren't going to be much further along come August than they are right now. So I would be more comfortable, within the terms of the agreement we negotiated, with keeping a more robust force for a longer period of time."

That's Ryan Crocker, the former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, on what to expect in the coming months in Iraq. I recommend the whole interview, which is here.

"We’re going to have a prolonged period of government formation. It could take two or three months, [and] it’s likely to be a pretty turbulent process. I think [the government formation process], in and of itself, is not likely to be destabilizing, but it means that the major issues out there aren’t going to be addressed. Things like disputed internal boundaries, Kirkuk, the relationship between federal, regional, and provincial governments — all of that’s going to be on hold until you have a new government.

"That means that things aren’t going to be much further along come August than they are right now. So I would be more comfortable, within the terms of the agreement we negotiated, with keeping a more robust force for a longer period of time."

That’s Ryan Crocker, the former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, on what to expect in the coming months in Iraq. I recommend the whole interview, which is here.

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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