In 2009, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki stood before lawmakers and experts at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C., and proclaimed, “Today, Iraq has become a peaceful, democratic country that relies on its democratic institutions.”
At the time, violence in the country was at its lowest since the start of the Iraq War in 2003. The United States even had plans to withdraw its troops. Four years have passed, and while massacres in Iraq have diminished in frequency, they have persisted — even as many Americans believed sectarian violence had been suppressed.
Al-Maliki returned to the same location in October, but this time he posed a question:
“Why is terrorism back to Iraq and the region?”
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