2009 May 17 Sunday
Will Iraq Spiral Down Into Violence As US Troops Pull Out

Ernesto Londoņo of the Washington Post reports from Baghdad that A as we approach a June 2009 deadline for US troop withdrawal from some Iraqi cities it looks like and looting after the US soldiers pull out.

Separation anxiety is growing among residents, local leaders and American soldiers in the sprawling, impoverished Shiite district that was once the most dangerous battlefield in Baghdad for U.S. troops.

"When the Americans leave, everything will be looted because no one will be watching," an Iraqi army lieutenant newly deployed there said. "There will be a civil war -- without a doubt," predicted an Iraqi interpreter. Council members have asked about political asylum in the United States.

Maybe the Iraqi Army can keep it together? Or will Sadr order his militia to take back control of Sadr City?

One US military official says US forces will need to fight their way back in again when the withdrawal leads to violence.

"The bottom line is they are not ready for us to give over the cities," a senior U.S. military official said on the condition of anonymity to speak critically of the Iraqis. "If we do, and all indications are that they will make us leave, we will be in a firefight to get back in and stop the violence. And we will lose soldiers."

If there's a big uptick in violence after US troops pull back then what will Obama do? Will he delay the US pull-out from Iraq?

What I'd like to know: how big is the US program for renting the loyalty of Iraqi factions? My worry is that if the US starts channeling the payola thru the Iraqi government then too much will get skimmed off to reach the militia leaders whose loyalties are key for decisions on whether to start fighting again. I would rather that US officers directly do the bribing since that will increase the odds that US troops will get pulled out. My worry is that Obama will back track on an Iraq withdrawal just as Obama has backtracked on some other issues lately. Says Glenn Reynolds " And yet, his election was a matter of fierce moral urgency about which there could be no serious disagreement.". We are now going to watch various factions of his supporters go through the stages of disappointment as the reality of governing restricts what he can do.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2009 May 17 10:10 AM  MidEast Iraq New Regime Failures


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