Iraq faces a difficult transition as the vast majority of U.S. military forces that have played a vital role in securing and developing the country will be out of Iraq by the end of 2011. As the U.S. State Department takes the lead in 2012, Iraq faces a number of problems, including ongoing violence, still-developing governance, a weak justice system, and slow economic development. The U.S. ability to help Iraq make that transition will do much to determine Iraq's future, whether Iraq becomes a strategic partner, and the future security of both the Gulf and world energy exports.
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