The domestic incentives for Maliki to retain his majority are such that I expect the United States to follow the SOFA. Other than that, I'm not sure. It would have been easier to predict before the Arab Revolutions, which may flow into Iraq and cause the Maliki coalition long-term problems. Before the 2010 elections, I'd have presumed a peace, punctuated by the eradication of Sunni rivals. The vicious intra-Shi'a split between SLC and the INA has given Maliki somewhat different long-term incentives, as is suggested by his restoration of the Saddamist Victory Arch in Baghdad.It'll be easier to tell after the upcoming Arab League Conference in Baghdad, BUT, I think Iraq will end up allied to Iran while much more strongly tolerated by the surviving dictatorships (led by the Saudis) than it would have been before, as they're going to have bigger problems on their plates. The question I can't quite solve is the confrontation between Saudi and Iran over the Gulf (where Bahrain is now a Saudi puppet state) playing back into Iraq's politics.
At The Washington Post
At The American Prospect