But American arms sales to Iraq have not stopped Maliki from pursuing a close relationship with Iran.
First, Maliki has a tight grip on power that could hold even under pressure from his two most important allies.
Recent press articles have also highlighted the move, spearheaded by the Maliki government, to ban alcohol throughout the country.
The same cannot be said for any assistance Obama may offer to Maliki.
Of all the major initiatives outlined in 2010, Maliki has not honored any of them.
Maliki has asked Obama since November for air strikes inside his country, but Obama has rebuffed those requests until this week.
Maliki is only the latest Iraqi leader in a long line of them to allegedly follow that path.
As U.S. soldiers left Iraq at the end of 2011, Maliki then began to consolidate his power.
Maliki himself had put out an arrest warrant for abu-Risha, a warrant that appears now to have been rescinded.
Despite an international outcry, Maliki continued the siege of the camp, denying supplies of food and medicine.