Good News Retracted?

My skepticism about the permanence of the recent good news from Iraq seems like it was justified. Hopefully we'll get that trend back, but it currently looks like it was an aberration.
Violence across Iraq has spiked in recent days, with more than 200 people killed since Sunday in clashes, bombings or shootings — despite U.S. and Iraqi officials' claims that a new security operation in the capital has lowered Sunni-Shiite killings there, which had risen in June and July.

The violence has included some of the fiercest fighting in months between the Iraqi army and Shiite militiamen loyal to radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in Diwaniyah, 50 miles south of the capital.

Monday's fighting was significant because it pitted mostly Shiite Iraqi soldiers against the militia of one of the country's most prominent Shiite leaders. It also illustrates the complexity of the security crisis in Iraq — with Sunni insurgents fighting U.S. troops in the west, Sunnis and Shiites killing one another in Baghdad and now Shiites battling Shiites in the south.

Those last two paragraphs illustrate why our "they stand up/we stand down" strategy likely will not bear net positive results. The very forces we are training to replace us end up fighting sectarian battles amongst themselves and thereby perpetuate and inflame the civil war.

The article goes on to say that Iraq has seen temporary decreases in violence before, when special measures were taken, but the fighting has always flared back up in short order. If only we had a couple of million magical robot policemen we could deploy to the region, that would solve this problem.

No comments: