Iraq Can Now Wrest Its Sovereignty From Iran
A New Prime Minister Looks to Bring Shiite Militias Under Baghdad’s Control
The recent rise of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) -- a mutual security assembly comprised of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan -- has been met with skepticism in the West. Some fear that it has nefarious intentions to control Central Asia; others worry that the West will somehow be left behind in the region if it does not engage with the SCO. Since its founding in 1996 as a forum for negotiating lingering Soviet-Chinese border disputes, the SCO's mission has broadened to promote regional security and economic cooperation, and combat what its members call the "three evils": separatism, extremism, and terrorism. As its agenda has expanded, so, too, have Western concerns.
When the heads of the SCO countries called for a timetable for closing U.S. military bases in Central Asia at its annual summit in 2005, the SCO appeared to be positioning itself against U.S. influence in the