On August 2, Barack Obama, the US president, declared that the US "combat mission" in Iraq has reached its end.
He told a conference of disabled American veterans in Atlanta, Georgia that more troops will be coming home at the end of August.
This, he said, was in line with the status of forces agreement and his own promises, and he said he would be able to fulfill those promises in part because violence in Iraq continues to be at its lowest in years.
However, the AP news agency reported that July was the deadliest month in Iraq in more than two years. The US military brass rapidly and vehemently denied this.
They issued lower figures of their own and insisted that Iraq is now stable and able to determine its own future after the withdrawal of US troops.
But as Iraq enters its fifth month without a government, Obama's promise of withdrawal may not be all that it seems, and the assessment of Iraq's stability is still confusing.
Our guests this week are John Burkman, a Republican strategist, Saad al-Muttalibi, a member of the State of Law Coalition and a political advisor to the ministry of dialogue and reconciliation, and Sabah al-Mukhtar, the president of the Arab Lawyers Association in the UK.
This episode of Inside Iraq aired from Friday, August 6, 2010.