More than seven years after it began, the end may be near for the Iraq war. According to Vice President Joe Biden, who is managing the withdrawal, the administration’s goal of removing all combat forces by August is proceeding as planned. But Iraqi leaders have yet to form a government close to three months after a contentious election and violence is still simmering, raising the possibility that the situation could deteriorate. “It’s going to be painful; there’s going to be ups and downs,” Biden told the Washington Post. “But I do think the end result is going to be that we’re going to be able to keep our commitment.” Experts say that the drawdown is especially crucial given the escalating conflict in Afghanistan, which is seeing a surge in U.S. troops.