2008 April 06 Sunday
Anthony Cordesman: 3 Big Iraq Problems

We are just keeping a lid on Iraq - a leaky lid.

EVEN if American and Iraqi forces are able to eliminate Al Qaeda in Iraq, there are still three worrisome possibilities of new forms of fighting that could divide Iraq and deny the United States any form of “victory.”

One is that the Sunni tribes and militias that have been cooperating with the Americans could turn against the central government. The second is that the struggle among Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen and other ethnic groups to control territory in the north could lead to fighting in Kirkuk, Mosul or other areas.

The third risk — and one that is now all too real — is that the political struggle between the dominant Shiite parties could become an armed conflict.

How long will we have to pay before we can all admit that we've tried long enough? At what point can our elites admit that a large fraction of the Iraqi people - and not just some relatively small group of terrorists - are the cause of the fighting between factions in Iraq?

What are we seeking to prove at this point other than that we have enough willpower to stand up to whoever might threaten us? Really, what is the point of a US presence in Iraq?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2008 April 06 10:35 PM  Mideast Iraq Ethnic Conflict


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