"Iraq today is sovereign and independent," al-Maliki told the country in a televised speech commemorating the pullback by American forces from leading the battle against Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias.
"I promise you the sectarian war will not return. We will not allow it. Iraqis will live as loving brothers," al-Maliki said, adding that his troops were up to the fight.
"On NBC's "Today" show this morning, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said he doesn't foresee American troops resuming a combat role in Iraq. "They're in charge of their future," he said. "The future of Iraq will now be written by the Iraqis"
Despite the optimism of al-Maliki and the good wishes of the Obama administration, violence still rages in a country riven by sectarian guerrilla warfare.
On Monday, an Iraqi police patrol drove over a roadside bomb in central Fallujah, taking a direct hit that critically wounded five officers. In Baghdad, an engineer was killed and three passers-by were injured when a bomb attached by magnets detonated his car, according to a log of daily violence compiled by McClatchy Newspapers.
Iraqis are conflicted over the U.S. draw-down, which leaves about 50,000 American troops in advisory positions. A poll conducted this month by the Asharq Research Centre found 60 percent of Iraqis believe it's not the right time for Americans to leave, according to the Arabic-language news agency Al-Jazeera.