A test of peacekeepers' lasting impact

American forces are about to find out whether their final mission of the eight-year conflict in Iraq -- to quell violence along the disputed, northern Kurd-Arab border -- produced a lasting foothold for peace or will lead to resumed violence when they leave.



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Mohammad Ahmad, a pesh merga fighter; Mohammud al-Albakari, a Sunni member of the Iraqi army; and Adnon Shko Baita, a Turkmen police officer from Kirkuk, conduct a joint patrol east of downtown Kirkuk. Everyone in the patrol wears a "Golden Lion" armband to signify they work together. The joint patrols are credited with lowering violence across the city, but will end as part of a withdrawal beginning soon.

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