Lindsey Graham is surely right to worry that any security gains in the Iraqi regions mean little unless reciprocated by the Maliki government. Time is running out. But where is the alternative? James Joyner shrewdly notes:
The problem, however, is that Maliki gained power as a result of democratic processes that we helped institute. Wouldn’t this move give lie to the notion that the Iraqi government has sovereignty? ... Our leverage is incredibly limited given that it’s clear we are desperate to wash our hands of the Iraqi mess. That doesn’t exactly inspire a lot of confidence. Moreover, anyone who came to power through the strong backing of U.S. political leaders would thereby be at an incredible disadvantage domestically and in no position to lead the tough reconciliation process.
I thought this war was over?