"We set out to establish a democracy, but we're slowly realizing we will have some form of Islamic republic," said another U.S. official familiar with policymaking from the beginning, who like some others interviewed would speak candidly only on the condition of anonymity. "That process is being repeated all over."
Gee, I personally remember saying that before the war, as well as many other skeptical and anti-war authors. It seems to me that we are no longer serving any purpose there, Iraq will fall into civil war with or without us, and the best we can do is not be in the middle of it. The three major ethnic groups within Iraq can seem to agree on so little that any other outcome seems unlikely, they can't even agree on something so basic as the form of government.
With the strength of that central control still to be determined, the Sunnis have expressed fears that enshrining federalism in the Iraqi constitution could lead to the dissolution of the country. Other groups have called those fears overblown, particularly the Kurds, who have effectively ruled as an autonomous region in the north since the 1991 Persian Gulf war.