Underlying tensions inside Iraq burst into the open almost immediately after the US withdrew its forces, with the Shia prime minister, Nouri Al Maliki, accusing the Sunni vice president, Tariq Al Hashemi of terrorism and murder. But Iraq’s response to Syria’s descent into civil war, and the rising temperature over Iran’s bid to weaponise its nuclear stockpile, has, in effect, been to adopt a waiting game, as the geopolitical forces surrounding it battle to fill the various regional vacuums.

THE LAST American soldier crossed the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border into Kuwait on the last day of 2011.

Within days, Iraq was thrown into complete po...

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 Bernard Siman
The extremely delicately balanced political high wire act of the various sects, ethnicities and regions was damaged perhaps beyond repair
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