Eight years after the US-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein, Iraq remains the most volatile of places. 

And now another issue is back, the US presence in Iraq. Around 44,000 US troops remain in Iraq, down from about 170,000 at the peak of the war, with a full withdrawal scheduled by the end of the year.

But even that is up for debate. One of the things both Iraqi and US leaders are now looking for is some sort of final decision on whether the remaining US troops should stay or go.

Will American troops stay longer than planned? Can the politicians work towards the greater good? What is it that prevents Iraq from moving forward? 

Inside Story, with presenter Kamahl Santamaria, discusses with guests: Saad al-Muttalibi, a former political advisor to the Iraqi government; Scott Lucas, a professor of American Studies at the University of Birmingham; and Anas Altikriti, the CEO of the Cordoba Foundation - a group seeking to promote dialogue between the Muslim world and the west.

This episode of Inside Story aired on Tuesday, August 2, 2011.

Source: Al Jazeera