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It is becoming increasingly likely that Iraq has reached a turning point. The forces hostile to the government have grown stronger, better equipped and more organized. The first answer to the question is: Nouri al-Maliki lost Iraq.From 2003 onward, Iraq faced a Sunni insurgency that was finally tamped down by Gen. David Petraeus, who said explicitly at the time that the core element of his strategy was political, bringing Sunni tribes and militias into the fold. The surge's success, he often noted, bought time for a real power-sharing deal in Iraq that would bring the Sunnis into the structure of the government. How did Maliki come to be prime minister of Iraq?Having invaded Iraq with a small force – what the expert Tom Ricks called "the worst war plan in American history" – the administration needed to find local allies.I would have preferred to see a small American force in Iraq to try to prevent the country's collapse.
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