The problems the US has been experiencing in the Iraq conflict have been those of 'strategy', not 'execution'. Once the Iraq situation turned into sectarian conflict, any terms-of-reference relative to a US 'victory' or 'defeat' should have ceased to apply. Iraq was never a single nation, it is not one now, and does not seem to offer any such prospects in the future. It was sewn by the Brits out of 3 disparate Ottoman provinces and held together by way oppression - first the Brits, then Hashemite rule, and finally Ba'ath despotism. A strategy based on forcing 3 separate nations, to live together under a single government against their will, is certainly not a formula for success! Coming to think of sectarian divisions, Iran is a restless multi-ethnic empire with some 50% Persians ruling over some 25% Azeri-Turks, 10% Kurds, 5% Shiite-Arabs, etc. Furthermore, the Kurds are the same Kurds as those across the Iraqi border... Any ideas come to mind?
from the article: Kurds build an island of calm in the inferno of Iraq