Contra Juan Cole, Marc Lynch believes that while it matters who comes out on top "there's almost certainly going to be a coalition of some kind (fully inclusive or otherwise) and the differences probably won't be as stark as some people expect." He cautions:

[A] main headline of the Iraqi election campaign has to be the overwhelmingly nationalist tone of all major politicians and the marginal American role in the process. The election campaign (as opposed to the results, which we still don't know) showed clearly that Iraqis are determined to seize control of their own future and make their own decisions. The U.S. ability to intervene productively has dramatically receded, as the Obama administration wisely recognizes. The election produced nothing to change the U.S. drawdown schedule, and offered little sign that Iraqis are eager to revise the SOFA or ask the U.S. to keep troops longer. Iraq is in Iraqi hands, and the Obama administration is right both to pay close attention and to resist the incessant calls to 'do more.'"

The whole post is worth reading.

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