Ned Parker is the Baghdad Bureau Chief for Reuters.

Iraq: The Road to Chaos

Members of Asaib Ahl al Haq, a Shiite militia, in Karbala, Iraq, March 21, 2014

On the surface, the speed with which Iraq’s new political order has fallen apart is a puzzle. There had been relative stability since the spring of 2008, when Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki set out to disband the Shiite militias. But Maliki understood that the American-sponsored rules were temporary. Now, as it prepares for its first national election in four years, Iraq is falling apart again.