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News Analysis: Will Iraq be stable after U.S. fully pullout?

By Jamal Hashim (Xinhua)

08:43, December 14, 2011

BAGHDAD, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Almost nine years after the U.S.- led invasion, the U.S. troops would withdraw from Iraq late in 2011 as scheduled in security pact between the two countries.

But questions remain over how stable Iraq will be after the complete pullout of the U.S. troops? Some Iraqi experts warned that the war-shattered country might face security challenges after the U.S. withdrawal by the end of 2011.

Despite the fact that violence has dropped dramatically compared to its peak during the sectarian warfare in 2006 and 2007, when Iraq teetered on the brink of civil war, daily violence and sporadic high-profile attacks still happen.

"Violence could remain the main concern in Iraq after the U.S. pullout due to the profound division that prevailed in the Iraqi society after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003," Nadhim al-Jubouri, an al-Qaida expert told Xinhua.

Challenges from the Sunni extremist group of al-Qaida, insurgent groups allegedly tied to Saddam Hussein's now-banned Baath party as well as Shiite militias allegedly funded, trained and armed by Iran, seem to be complicating factors to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government.

"Different militant groups may have different stances toward the current regime," Jubouri said, noting that such ideologically divided militias could not be easily come under control by Maliki' s government.

The sectarian and political polarization was also stimulated by the almost absence of true national reconciliation efforts by Maliki's government, Jubouri concluded.

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