"The democratic experience in Iraq is still very much in its infant stages, but it's being tested. It was tested over the course of the last four years, more recently it's being tested by the national elections, and now the challenge of putting a government together."
– Ambassador Gary Grappo, Counselor for Political Affairs in the U.S. Embassy
In this test, there are no cheat sheets, and the final grade has global implications. Iraq is trying hold its first democratic graduation and enroll a new government. At the same time, U.S. troops are starting to pack their bags for a permanent recess. And the question of what will be left behind is about more than Humvees and kitchen equipment. It’s about whether Iraq will be a stable, sovereign state that can stand up to bullies in its playground.