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Baghdad's Indecision Shows its Fragility

A simple decision in Baghdad, Iraq, as to when the legislature should meet again, has even generated much debate. While legislators there are expected to agree today to meet in mid-August, there's yet no decision on who will be the fractured country's new prime minister. As Nuri al-Maliki jostles to retain the position he has held for the past eight years, his attempts appear to be an uphill battle. Under his leadership, Iraq has contorted into its present state ripe with non-inclusiveness that has opened the door for insurgents ISIL to overrun much of Iraq and to declare a Caliphate over a large swath of Iraq and Syria. If Maliki has been unable to forge a solid enough coalition needed to defend Iraq in the face of insurgency, how could he be expected to remedy the situation today? Calls by Iraqi clerics that politicians make the needed decisions to form a government to retain some stability and to ensure some continuity in the oil rich country, have not been honored. Yet, as insurgents sit less than 20-miles outside of Baghdad, rumors of sleeper insurgent cells within Baghdad continue to be borne with explosions and deaths within the city limits. 

That Baghdad is still standing is a testament to the influence of the United States(US) which has sent military advisers to the city. At some point, Washington would have to come to grips that Maliki, unyielding in his drunken desire to retain power, represents a stumbling block to inclusiveness. Washington's role then would obviously switch from adviser to sole protector of US strategic security and economic interests. Maliki's fragility could only be shored up but for so long. Baghdad needs to form a government this week, not in mid-August.