Thursday, September 04, 2008

Iraq: fragile progress

Here's a link to the Register's editorial on the U.S. turning over security control of Anbar Province to the Iraqi government. While speakers at the Republican convention were exulting that we are on the verge of victory thanks to the "surge," we made clear that things are a bit more complicated than that. Not only did the Anbar Awakening precede the surge by several months, there's a pretty serious danger, as noted previously, that the Shia-dominated Iraqi government just might mess the whole thing up. It's got a bunch oif Awakening leaders on a to-be-arrested list and has taken hardly any of the Awakening fighters (who are Sunni) into the government security forces.

Interestingly, as this article makes clear, Gen. Petraeus, hailed as the genius behind the turnaround, is much more circumspect about claiming that victory is around the corner. And even if the U.S. does find a reasonably graceful way out, that doesn't mean the war was worth starting, if only because the most significant result is to have made Iran stronger as a regional power and given it m0ore incentive to acquire nukes.

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