by Patrick Appel
Marc Lynch's thoughts on the Obama-Maliki presser:
I don't agree with those who want the Obama administration to launch yet another "last effort" to achieve Iraqi political reconciliation. Ryan Crocker spent years doing exactly that, and it's not clear why people think that a new special envoy would fare any differently. These are not American problems to solve. Iraqi domestic political issues will have to be solved on Iraqi terms at this point, for better or for worse -- and Maliki's response will likely only change if the costs of the current policy become too high to bear. I thought that Vice President Biden's comments in that regard during his Baghdad trip were pretty much right, as were the President's remarks during his appearance with Maliki. For all the anxiety out there among Iraq watchers and policy hands, things seem to be going about as expected.