Incoming Vice President Joe Biden on a trip to Iraq promised its government that Barack Obama will proceed in a gradual fashion to withdraw US troops in order to avoid creating any military issues for Iraq leaders. Biden visited the Kirkuk region where he urged the squabbling Kurdish and government representatives to resolve issues pertaining to the place of the oil-wealthy city in the Iraq nation. The Kurds want it to become part of their semi-autonomous region while the Maliki government will not surrender control of an area that promises to bea rich source of oil revenue in the coming years.
Regardless of whether American troops leave in 2010 or 2011 there will be unresolved issues remaining in Iraq pertaining to control of oil in the nation. The Kurds do not trust either Shiites or Sunnis to control them, given their experiences under Saddam Hussein. There is trouble brewing at the OK Corral and America will be unable to head off the shooting that eventually will erupt.