Unless the U.S. does more to address the Iraqi prime minister’s postelection moves, billions of dollars and thousands of lives could be for naught.
Since the success of the 2007 surge in Iraq, violent attacks have fallen more than 90% and Iraqis have been making steady progress toward stability and democracy. That momentum is now threatened by the actions of Iraq’s prime minister, Nouri Maliki, and by the inaction of the Obama administration.
Maliki, whom I met a week ago as part of a delegation from the Council on Foreign Relations, is refusing to accept the results of the March 7 elections. They are not to his liking. His aides had told him that his State of Law slate could expect to win 110 seats in the Council of Representatives. Instead, he won only 89 seats, finishing behind Iyad Allawi’s Iraqiya coalition, which emerged in first place with 91 seats. Independent observers agreed that there had been little fraud in the contest — certainly nothing like the massive vote stealing that marred Afghanistan’s 2009 presidential election. . .