Dr. Nimrod Raphaeli, of the invaluable Middle East Media Research Institute, has written a short analysis of Biden's recent Iraq visit.
In Iraq, no player is willing to give up any amount of power to see a coalition formed. Iraq will have made a true breakthrough when the system is stable enough that parties can go into the opposition. knowing that their day will come.
Raphaeli is hopeful that Biden has helped bring new ideas to the table that can help break the logjam.
From a VPstudies perspective, this is not a one-off "show the flag" visit. Biden has been to Iraq 17 times and he has been the administration's point man. Afghanistan has Holbrooke - Iraq has Biden.
This is a worthy case study - has a previous VP been given a portfolio for managing bi-national relations? (Gore was a player in but did not direct US-Russia relations.) How was it granted to Biden - how did competitors like the Secretaries of State and Defense react to this assignment?
A chapter for my thesis perhaps...