Catching up - I've been traveling today but it looks like the big news is National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq. From what little I've gleaned, it looks like both sides of the war debate can find passages to cite or ignore. My feeling is that, despite the strength of the U.S. and Iraqi security forces, Iraq is standing on feet of clay because of the fecklessness of the Maliki government.
You're going to find new friends? Better do it quick. U.S. patience is worn thin.