This makes a huge amount of sense to me, and I fear Obama's caution and deference to the military top brass has led him to forget why he is president - to get the US the hell out of Mesopotamia as soon as possible:

1. The ineffectiveness and corruption of GOI Ministries is the stuff of legend.

2. The anti-corruption drive is little more than a campaign tool for Maliki

3. The GOI is failing to take rational steps to improve its electrical infrastructure and to improve their oil exploration, production and exports.

4. There is no progress towards resolving the Kirkuk situation.

5. Sunni Reconciliation is at best at a standstill and probably going backwards.

6. Sons of Iraq (SOI) or Sahwa transition to ISF and GOI civil service is not happening, and SOI monthly paydays continue to fall further behind.

7. The Kurdish situation continues to fester.

8. Political violence and intimidation is rampant in the civilian community as well as military and legal institutions.

9. The Vice President received a rather cool reception this past weekend and was publicly told that the internal affairs of Iraq are none of the US’s business.

Of course, Fallows was there first, as he often is. Background here.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.