Breakpoint: What went Wrong
An insightful essay on Iraq (hat tip: Paul Kedrosky)
My personal take on the end game : the US will leave as the civil war breaks out. This will finally result in a trifurcation of Iraq. Two Sunni and Shiite nations will emerge that will either turn on each other, backed respectively by the Saudis (and indirectly by the US) and Iran, or collectively turn against the US and/orIsrael. Kurds will formally proclaim independence, create the third nation and live on as a virtual protectorate of the US. Western oil companies will invest in Kurdistan because that oil has the clearest exit path through Northern Turkey and the Black Sea.
Will this be in the US interests? That depends upon whether the Shias and Sunnis continue to be at each other's throats or unite in a global jihad against the US. The US will certainly try to keep fanning the flames through proxies like Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
Oil investments in Kurdistan are already happening.