"For the first time in nine years there are no Americans fighting in Iraq. After a decade of war that's cost us thousands of lives and over a trillion dollars, the nation we need to build is our own."

Barack Obama, the US president

In keeping with Barack Obama's presidential campaign promise, the US has withdrawn its troops from Iraq and dramatically reduced its military spending.

But after years of a bitter occupation, what is the sentiment on the ground? How are Iraqis handling the legacy of violence? And is the country on the brink of irreparable fragmentation?

In a special two-part series, Fault Lines travels across Iraq to take the pulse of the country and its people after years of foreign occupation and nation-building.

In the first part of this series, Sebastian Walker returns to Baghdad and travels from Basra to the capital to find out what kind of future Iraqis are forging for themselves.

And in the second part of this series, we continue the journey north and explore a new balance of power that is emerging.

 

Source: Al Jazeera