U.S. commanders fear that American forces may have to leave Iraq the same way they arrived - fighting.
46,000 American troops are scheduled to di di mau out of Iraq this summer and it's feared they could become easy targets for insurgents as they make their way to refuge in Kuwait. To make conditions a bit safer, American commanders have chosen 10 tribal chiefs who each receive $10,000 a month to have their people "clean" stretches of the 160-mile highway to safety.
The Americans are an irresistible target in the power struggle underway between the brutally despotic al Maliki regime and the Shiite fundamentalist horde of Muqtada al Sadr. Maliki's bunch is pondering asking American forces to stay on, mainly to save their own skins. Sadr is threatening outright civil war unless all American forces are withdrawn.
And you thought the "surge" sorted out all of Iraq's problems. Silly rabbit.