As we go to press, and after many rumours and false reports, Iraq's parliament has still not agreed on the key ministries of defense, interior and national security, more than three months after the creation of Nouri al-Maliki's government.
Our expert blogger John Drake reports that the number of attacks in Iraq has been rising steadily since the start of the year; while there are many reasons for this, the lack of leadership in each of these security-related portfolios can not be helping the situation.
The continuing and complex power struggle between the governing parties is of course at the root of the problem, and progress was made in the past week with the post of planning minister being filled.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon commented: “The early finalization of the government formation process will enable Iraq's leadership to take the measures required to address the legitimate concerns of the Iraqi people.”
The Iraqi people can't wait forever.