The theory was that the Iraqi government would use the troop surge period to implement political reforms that would increase Sunni support while pressuring the Shia militias. The reality is that the Iraqi government isn't changing much.
WASHINGTON - When Secretary of Defense Robert Gates made a surprise stop in Baghdad Thursday, a day after the horrendous car bombings in the city, his message was clear: The US commitment to Iraq is not open-ended – and the Iraqi government had better get busy on its side of the "to do" list.
The nearly three-month-old increase in US troops in Baghdad is still not complete. But US officials are starting to show impatience that a plan designed to give the Iraqi government breathing space for making decisions aimed at addressing sectarian strife is not having much of the desired response.
Indeed, the US "surge" has not been matched by an equal uptick in political action. On key issues like revenue distribution, militias, reconciliation, and constitutional reform, progress appears to be made at an "all the time in the world" pace – even though Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki committed to security steps and political decisions in conversations with President Bush this past January.
The killings in Iraq might even be on a new upswing.
As Wednesday's bombings demonstrated, generalized security is still elusive. Some reports suggest that, overall, killings in Iraq are inching back up to last year's highs.
If we spent even a tenth of the Iraq war money on security efforts closer to home we could do far more to decrease our risk of a terrorist attack. If we spent another tenth on energy research we could eventually stop the flow of world money to Muslim oil states. The Iraq war is a bad idea. It does not increase US security. Plus, it pulls money away from other things we could spend money on to increase security and prosperity.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2007 April 22 09:26 PM Mideast Iraq Exit Debate|