Patrick Cockburn is a Middle East correspondent for The Independent and also contributes to the London Review of Books. He is the author of Muqtada: Muqtada al-Sadr, the Shia Revival, and the Struggle for Iraq (Scribner).
On the tenth anniversary of the US invasion, the country is mired in a permanent crisis of sectarian violence, pervasive corruption and broken infrastructure.
What are the new rules of the political game in the Middle East? Nobody knows, but Marc Lynch’s The Arab Uprising is a useful guide.
An Iraqi government desperate for credibility could receive no better gift than Obama's exit plan.