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Understanding the history of Iraq's borders represents the first step in formulating a solution to the current problems encountered on those same borders today. At this writing, the notional lines in the sand that represent those borders are, in places, porous. Over the past three years, understanding of these borders' importance for Iraq's security—on the part of both the Iraqis and the Coalition forces—has waxed and waned. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of the Iraqi forces controlling some areas along these borders is improving. The success of these efforts may play a significant role in the eventual outcome of the security situation in Iraq.