Iraqi elections have been violent and marred by factional boycotts, but the elections that just took place seem to have marked progress, despite attacks.

It's still being debated how these elections will affect the prospects of U.S. troops leaving the country, and, as far as domestic U.S. politics go, the central questions of Iraq has seemed to be whether the U.S. can finally leave Iraq in stable shape, and whether the Obama administration will accumulate any credit for such a closed chapter, or if history will remember the Bush-initiated troop surge as what helped the nation turn a corner from the overwhelming bloodshed that followed for years after the U.S. invasion.

But in the meantime, The Atlantic Wire's Max Fisher takes a look at what made these most recent elections a success: foreign policy voices count the Sunnis' decision to vote this time, Iranian interest in a stable Iraq, unity across sectarian lines, the presence of U.S. troops, the courage of Iraqis as enabling factors.

See the full breakdown in Fisher's post.

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