Rich, more details on the reported cabinet shake-up. Britain’s Institute for War and Peace Reporting (which publishes the Iraq Press Monitor) transmits this summary of a story that appeared in Iraq’s Al Mada newspaper:
Prime Minister Noori al-Maliki has formed a special committee to discuss expected ministerial changes. Sources close to Maliki told Al-Mada that the changes would affect 12 ministers dealing with service provision ministries. A member of the United Iraqi Alliance, UIA, party, Abbas al-Bayati, said the shake-up would take place before parliament’s winter holiday that starts in the next two weeks.
This suggests that the shake-up will not affect the key national security positions. Some may be disappointed, but I think a shake-up of those key positions would cause more harm than good even if it were possible at all in the current climate, which I don’t think it is. Recall how many months of negotiations it took to put that team in place to start with.