The discussions of the surge in troops that took place in mid-2007 often fail to discuss what the proposed purpose of the increase was: to stabilize the country sufficiently for a political reconciliation to take place. While the level of violence has declined from its peak, that political reconciliation has not taken place.
The political environment in Iraq is still very unstable. There are open struggles for power among Sunni, Shiites, and Kurds. At stake are control over central and local governments as well as the oil revenue from Iraq’s oil fields, currently estimated to be at least ten percent of all known worldwide oil reserves.
These power struggles spill between the Iraqi Parliament and the streets where each group has its private militias. Iraq’s political leaders admit that no political reconciliation among the various Iraqi factions has taken place, and have voiced doubts that any such reconciliation is possible.”