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Ignoring the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, the Bush administration deployed additional troops to Iraq in 2007 with the aim of stabilizing the country which had burst into civil war. To the surprise of many, the U.S. military surge appears to have worked—at least temporarily. Violence is down, the economy has improved and many Iraqis who fled the country have been returning home. As a result of these gains the debate on Iraq has all but ground to a halt within U.S. policy circles.
But skeptics outside Washington DC fear that the absence of political reforms by the government in Baghdad could make the current stability in Iraq short lived. They argue that the U.S. and its allies should pressure Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, to enact sustainable political changes, including fair elections, and engage the country's neighbors in a diplomatic process that would promote regional stability.
This month CIAO examines Iraq after the surge.
Iraq: Next Steps After the Surge (U.S. Department of State)
Iraq: After the Surge (CFR audio)
After the 'Surge': What Has Changed in Iraq? (NPR audio)
Iraq Improves after the US “Surge” (BBC News Player)
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