Obama meets Maliki amid concerns Iraq's politics are degenerating

Iraq Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki visited U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House today.

President Barack Obama on Monday pledged that Washington would remain a strong partner for Iraq as U.S. troops exit by year-end, and played down the risk this departure creates a power vacuum Iran can exploit.

The withdrawal of almost all U.S. troops from Iraq by December 31 has created uncertainty at a time the region remains roiled by the Arab Spring, and amid fear Syrian instability could spread sectarian strife into neighboring Iraq.

[Full story Obama says U.S. will be loyal partner for Iraq | Reuters.

But tonight on the Daily Brief (1800 EDT – Sun News Network), we”l be speaking with Ramzy Mardini, a research analyst the Washington, D.C think tank the Institute for the Study of War, who warns that:

Nouri al-Maliki [has] commenced in a wide-scale campaign to purge hundreds of former members of the Ba’ath party from Iraq’s security apparatus. The sacking and arrests of rivals and independent figures, and their subsequent replacement with loyalists, has become common practice pursued by Maliki to consolidate power and marginalize political opponents.

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