David Ignatius, The Washington Post | October 22, 2008
With the status-of-forces agreement at an impasse, policy makers are unnerved by the ominous signs in Iraq. ++ If an agreement is not reached by December 31, US troops will have to return to their bases; "Without legal authority to operate, we do not operate." ++ Recent gains in Iraq were predicated on US security guarantees - without them, "tensions are returning with a vengeance." ++ Kurds, Shiites, and Sunnis still view their relations as zero-sum; throw Iranian meddling into the mix and the situation does not augur well.