Joel Wing covers the political stalemate:

As always, Maliki is the main barrier to forming a new government. He insists that he return as prime minister, which is opposed by almost all the other parties. The negotiations with the Iraqi National Alliance and the Iraqi National Movement have gone nowhere because of him, while the Kurds are largely staying on the sidelines willing to support any coalition that emerges that will agree to their demands. Maliki has the luxury of being able to drag out the process because he still holds onto his office. That means four months after Iraq’s election, the country’s politicians are still no closer to forming a government. 

When a politician refuses to acquiesce to the demands of all the other parties and remains the national leader four months after an election, with no resolution in sight, have we really constructed a workable non-sectarian polity? Or did Petraeus successfully p.r. his way toward a face-saver?

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