Nearly two years after Iraq ejected U.S. troops, and with an escalating civil war nearly as deadly as 2006, Iraqi President Nouri al-Maliki has come to Washington to ask President Obama to intervene in a war he never wanted in the first place.
The two men were unable to come to an agreement in 2011, when the Iraqi parliament rejected the U.S. offer to keep thousands of U.S. troops in Iraq— only if they were granted immunity—to help stabilize the country after the war. At the time, Obama wanted out; Maliki wanted his country back. But 2013 has turned bloodier than either man anticipated. The violence across Iraq has worsened, and the spillover violence from neighboring Syria and increasing influence from Iran threatens, for Malikik, a nation that has endured more than a decade of war and, for Obama, America’s security interests in regional stability.
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