The combination of improved security, the self-interest of a wide range of Iraqi groups and politicians, and the clear U.S. commitment to drawing down its military forces have generated some real positive progress but the unresolved institutional and political conflicts remain clearly evident.The problem is how to get the Shiites to allow the Sunnis a chance to participate in the government. This has been the challenge since Bremmer and the US disbanded the army and issued the first de-Baathification order. The Sunni Awakening always raised the question of what happens when the Americans depart, and the Shia have been most reluctant to embrace their former adversaries. Take a look at Marc's post--he is far more articulate (not to mention knowledgeable) about this issue.
For me, it comes down to the basic hypothesis I have been pushing lately--that the question is not the absence of government, but the balance any government runs between deterring the potential bad guys while reassuring the rest of the population that the government is not going to be oppressive. Which reminds me, in three years, will anyone be asking the loons on the right about Obama's supposed concentration camps? Hmmm. Never mind.