As US prepares to withdraw troops from major cities, bombings in Baghdad and near Kirkuk have the country on edge.
An Iraqi government spokesman's opening line was meant comically, but rang true. The country's military leaders and officials are increasingly emphasizing Iraqi independence.
Gen. Ray Odierno shaved the comedian's head – under orders from President Obama – during one of four shows of the Colbert Report taped on location in Baghdad.
June's pullback is part of the phased withdrawal of US forces. Will it jeopardize hard-won security gains?
US intelligence officials do not see a reversal in security gains, but Iraqi political maneuvering could affect decisions to keep US troops in trouble spots.
Gen. Ray Odierno, along with other top defense officials, argued that releasing the images of alleged detainee abuse would endanger US troops abroad.