Diplomats Are Casting About to Find a New Formula to Influence Politics in Iraq
Alissa J. Rubin gives us some analysis of an emerging Iraq with everyday decisions increasingly being made by Iraqis, instead of the guests who invited themselves over six years ago.
Now more than ever, American military and civilian officials do not have the daily contact with national, local, military and tribal leaders, decreasing their influence greatly. Iraqis are operating without their English-speaking buffers, now somewhat out of the loop – something neither side is very used to.
As they deal with Iraqi politics, the Americans must find a new tone. They have a reputation for being heavy-handed, for telling Iraqis what to do rather than asking what they want — a legacy of the period when Americans were in charge as an occupying force. Now that Iraq is in most respects a sovereign country, that approach only generates hostility.Rubin discusses an Obama administration Iraq policy that has seemed distant to many...