Four-star Gen. David Patraeus and former Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker effectively predicted much of the conflict that is sweeping post-war Iraq in a 2007 report.
The report named troop withdrawal, an issue that has divided U.S. voters and politicians since 2004, as a major turning point in deciding state stability.
In the joint Petraeus and Crocker report, released Sept. 10, 2007, the pair questioned whether the divided country could withstand the inevitable sectarian violence that a majority-Shia led government was expected to take on, without the backing of substantial U.S. forces.
June 2014 marks the five-year anniversary of the beginning of the U.S. troop withdrawal in Iraq, and in the last two months, the nation of Iraq has suffered appalling civilian losses due to continuing sectarian violence.
The country has been devastated by sporadic car bombings and suicide bombings, the latest of which has killed at least 26 people across the capital of Baghdad, according to the news agency AFP.
The perpetrators of these attacks reportedly came from the city of Fallujah, which is on the proverbial door-step of Baghdad and currently controlled by al-Qaida-linked militants. The attacks follow days after Shia-dominant government forces pressed a massive assault on anti-government fighters in Ramadi, another predominantly Sunni Arab city.
In December, AFP reported that 759 citizens had been killed by escalating violence and more than 650 citizens have died so far in January.
Similar losses of Iraqi life have not occurred since 2007, during one of the bloodiest months of the U.S. war effort in the country.
A top official told Nafia Abdul Jabbar of AFP that he warned the militants had enough weaponry to “occupy Baghdad.”
On Monday, in an open press conference, Deputy Interior Minister Adnan al-Assadi warned that militant groups fighting in the Anbar providence had amassed “numerous and modern” weapons.
Shia districts thought to be in support of the Shia-led government of Nouri Maliki, in Jadida, Hurriya and Bayaa were among those hit hardest by attacks in recent weeks.
While widespread polling data in the United States, immediately before and after the 2003 invasion, showed a majority supported the war, subsequent polling in 2004 and onward showed an increasing majority of Americans believed the invasion was a mistake and that a gradual withdrawal would be the best option, according to polling data from the Pew Research Center, CBS News and Gallup.
A later 2007 study done by the Pew Research Center showed that public opinion concerning US troop withdrawal in Iraq was deeply delineated by party affiliation.