Part of Gen. David Petraeus' job in Iraq is pressuring Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Apparently, heads of state don't care for marching orders from generals from other countries, so it's caused a little bit of a strain on their professional relationship.
OK, more than a little
A key aide says Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's relations with U.S. commander Gen. David Petraeus are so poor the Iraqi leader may ask Washington the withdraw the well-regarded U.S. military leader from duty here.
The Iraqi foreign minister calls the relationship "difficult." ... U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker, who meets together with al-Maliki and Petraeus at least weekly, concedes "sometimes there are sporty exchanges."
Al-Maliki has spoken sharply -- not of Petraeus or Crocker personally -- but about their tactic of welcoming Sunni militants into the fight against al-Qaida forces in Anbar and Diyalah provinces.
First, if the U.S. policy of arming Sunni militias is exacerbating the strained relations, Maliki probably won't like the fact that the administration has decided to do more of this
, not less.
Second, if the relationship has deteriorated as poorly as the article suggests, would the White House seriously pull Petraeus from Iraq? After basing most of the existing policy on Bush's confidence in the general?