They lack ministers for Interior (all police) and Defense. Interior is slated to go to a Maliki loyalist, while Defense will go to an Allawi backer, possibly a Sunni professional soldier. The energy portfolios are consolidated under a new office, Deputy PM for Energy Affairs. It is held by a Maliki backer (and sometime friend of Iran), Hussein al-Shahristani. The parliament is a mess and tends to only pass laws dealing with national holidays, etc. That said, a modest US presence after 12/31/2011 would do a lot of good in 4 main areas: (1) intel support, they share a lot and some of it is quality on AQ and Iran; (2) regional issues (Iran); keeping the fragile peache up north with the Kurds (absent a neutral party up there, it’ll be war); and (4) reassure the IOCs. Even though US companies didn’t get many of the big contracts (only Exxon and Occidental), US companies are getting billions in sub-contracts all over Basra province. I’d also throw in (5), Sunni reassurance. They switched sides in 06-07 and turned the tide, now they are getting whacked daily and arming for Civil War 2.0 vs. the Shia, Just by staying, we can keep that at the level of gang violence, as opposed to at the level of Baghdad, 2006.
That may be difficult. Prior to my departure this past January, most of my network were preparing to depart Anbar. They also told me that many others in hte province were preparing their go-to-hell-plans.
Barry and his handlers don’t care about any of that. They just doesn’t want a melt down in Iraq right before the election.