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Open Think Tank Articles

September 11, 2008 | Obama and Biden: No Fundamental Change on Iraq Policy

Reidar Visser: US presidential candidates, Democrats and Republicans alike, continue to ignore the shifting political realities in Iraq. Obama and Biden consistently portray the principal dynamic of Iraqi politics as a struggle between Shiites and Sunnis, whereas the main front in Baghdad is between two essentially cross-sectarian coalitions.

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March 6, 2008 | New Moderate Centrism on the Rise in Iraqi Politics

Reidar Visser: While Western media has largely overlooked the rise of a moderate centrist force in Iraq, this new current deserves attention as it faces challenges from the Iraqi Presidency Council.

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February 3, 2009 | Pushing Iran Away

The success of the election in Iraq last Saturday rewards American efforts. ++ But it also weakens “Tehran’s hand” in Iraq as voter turnout was composed of a healthy mixture of Shiite and Sunni Iraqis, making way for the possibility of creating a balanced Iraqi Parliament and creating hope that Shiites will start looking to Baghdad rather than Tehran for political cues. ++

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October 22, 2008 | Status-of-Forces Agreement Looms Large

With the status-of-forces agreement at an impasse, policy makers are unnerved by the ominous signs in Iraq. ++ If an agreement is not reached by December 31, US troops will have to return to their bases; “Without legal authority to operate, we do not operate.” ++ Recent gains in Iraq were predicated on US security guarantees - without them, “tensions are returning with a vengeance.” ++ Kurds,

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August 19, 2008 | Maliki May Get "Difficult" for the US

There are voices among US officials that Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki became overconfident about his government’s ability to handle the security situation in Iraq without the US troops and that he wants to portray himself as the national hero who kicked out the US. ++ Domestically, Maliki’s Shi’ite-dominated government no longer depends on the US and seems to be more and more unwilling to advocate

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