The essay examines Bush's strategies to democratize Iraq. Failure to draft a plan for Iraq's stabilization led to costly mistakes that drove many Sunnis to join insurgent groups, fueling sectarian strife. Holding multiparty elections was a major accomplishment, but it did not lead to national reconciliation. Meanwhile, Bush has given Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki governmental benchmarks to meet, has sent more troops to drive insurgents out of Baghdad, and has armed Sunni tribes to fight al Qaeda. After reviewing key events, the essay assesses the prospects for the future of democracy in a country where there is neither security nor the rule of law.

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