Marc Lynch, who has been critical of the U.S.-fostered Sunni Awakening movement, has met visiting Sahwat leaders in Washington. The sheikhs wanted, among other things, the U.S. to “redress the sectarian imbalance in the composition of the Iraqi Army and Police, while giving more and better training and equipment”.
If that’s done, it will make it possible for the US can safely leave. If it isn’t, then it will be a ‘time bomb’, as one of them told me privately, set to go off and explode the Iraqi state at any moment. The need to establish a genuinely national army and police came up repeatedly, as I expected, and they don’t seem happy about progress to date.