Baghdad-- Approaching what it calls the end of its combat mission in Iraq, the U.S. military will maintain substantial firepower here for the near future. But it will have to adjust to waning resources, influence, mobility and money like never before. And it will be drawing down amid a political standoff in the wake of the March 7 parliamentary elections that has no end in sight.
American commanders are watching the sluggish government formation process closely and warily. The risks are high, with U.S. and Iraqi military commanders expressing fears ranging from a possible resurgence of Shiite militias to the splintering of security forces along sectarian lines.