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Page last updated at 07:39 GMT, Tuesday, 31 August 2010 08:39 UK

Iraq: Doomed to fail?

President Obama will deliver a speech this evening, formally bringing an end to the US combat mission in Iraq. But can the country survive without the US?

Iraq is a country "on the brink of failure" according to New Yorker journalist Jon Lee Anderson.

"With the draw down of US troops, you are essentially removing energy from a balloon," he explained.

"In that vacuum I fear that the various players who have made Iraq such a bloody place for the last seven years will continue to act."

But former British army officer Crispian Cuss cautioned against judging Iraq from individual events, arguing that by Iraqi standards, progress in infrastructure, politics and economics is being steadily made in the country.

"I just do not believe that Iraq is doomed to fail," he said.

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