Speaking to AFP News Carnegie's Paul Salem explained that politics in Iraq today are mobilized according to religious and ethnic communities. With the upcoming U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, Salem reflected on U.S. efforts to build democracy in the country and the challenges that Iraq now faces. Washington "made very grave mistakes" and even worsened the country's situation, Salem contended. He explained that the United States is not familiar with deeply divided societies and power sharing systems, so it failed to establish a prosperous and safe democracy in Iraq. Despite this failure to build a stable state, he argued that the situation is not a total lost cause, because the Iraqi people have an opportunity to build from what they already have and move forward.