2007 April 22 Sunday
Little Iraqi Political Reform With Troop Surge

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

Matt said at April 23, 2007 12:27 AM:

Imagine what could have been achieved by marshaling all the money that has been wasted on the Iraq war. It boggles the mind.

John S Bolton said at April 26, 2007 3:06 AM:

A lot could still be saved by setting up a Sunni sovereignty under a client ruler who was committed to removing, or allowing us to hunt down terrorists.
In a few months, if you chose carefully, with no nominations from neocons considered,
the Sunni terror, against those from whom they feel they must be redeemed, would end or slow down sharply.
Instead you get democracy for theocrats, equality, unity and brotherhood for enemies, and freedom-for-aggression all around.

Bob Badour said at April 26, 2007 4:38 AM:

Why a Sunni, John?

John S Bolton said at April 27, 2007 2:19 AM:

Because they are the ones who have the most incentive to continue the terror, which would otherwise decline.
If they had their own nation, with an equal share of the oil within their allotted territory,
they would have much less to fear, in terms of Shia supremacy.
They want redemption, not reconstruction.

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