Tag Archives: Surge

Stay Or Go– Which Way America In Iraq?

There is scant doubt violence has declined in Iraq since 30,000 additional American troops were dispatched to that nation earlier this year. But, according to General Joseph Fil, commander of US forces in Baghdad, the progress achieved in recent months is “fledgling, fragile, and not guaranteed.” The additional troops have made it possible to maintain forces in every part of the city, but he believes the situation is far from resolved. “There is absolutely a risk of going too quickly” because leaving “before the Iraqis are truly able to take over these areas independently would be very risky, and there ares some areas in the city where, at this point, it would fail.”

There are now 160,000 American troops in Iraq, a force capable to maintaining order in major cities like Baghdad, but there are still rural areas where the situation is less stable. There was never any doubt placing thousands of American forces in Baghdad would temporarily lessen violence. The central question at all times is what happens when US forces depart? Will Iraqi soldiers be able to keep things under control? Has the Iraq government created a viable coalition of political parties which can work together for peace and stability? The answers to these questions is an unqualified, no. Are al-Qaeda and other insurgents lurking in the shadows prepared to resume violence once American troops leave? Chances are the answer is an unqualified, yes. The surge will not work until Iraq has made political strides to go along with military. A political issue for Americans is how long with people in this nation go along with a major military presence in Iraq?

Admiral Mullen–Frustration And Hope

Admiral Mike Mullen who commands US forces in Iraq expressed hope the recent surge has proved successful in reducing the pace of terrorism, but there has not been a matching effort on the part of Iraqi political leaders to create a viable government that includes all sectors of society. President Bush noted, “The more successful we are the more American troops can return home,” but many experts believe the more successful are American military efforts, the more pressure is being exerted on Iraqi political leaders to step up and act in a decisive manner. Admiral Mullen commented that despite military success the future is “difficult to predict” because of so many variables. He is particularly “frustrated with the pace of political reconciliation at the central, senior level.”

In a sense, good news increases the possibility of poor results. As American troops clamp down on terrorists, the pressure on the Iraqi government to do something becomes even more intense. Unfortunately, the Iraqi leaders equivocate when they should act with determination to create a government including all sectors of Iraqi society.

Surge Also Leads To Surge In Iraq Problems

The American media is reporting dramatic success as a result of the Bush Surge, but there are indications while the city of Baghdad is quieter, serious problems remain in the nation. Most of northern Iraq is without light because its plants are idle due to lack of gasoline. The Kurdish government is engaged in a clash over oil in regions of northern Iraq it claims belong to the Kurdish authority. Supporters of al Sadr’s Mahdi army claim the United States is taking sides in a dispute between two rival Shiite groups and is backing their enemy, the Badr Corps. In the meantime, the weekend was interrupted by new bombings in Baghdad.

A factor in making difficult ascertaining the success or failure of the Surge is the lack of criteria by which to gauge what really has happened in Iraq. There is no question fighting has died down in Baghdad, but is it the result of a temporary movement away from directly responding to American attacks by insurgent groups or have they really been crushed? It is yet to early to reach any definitive analysis as to what had taken place in terms of violence. However, it is clear the government of Iraq is divided, confused, and hostile to other elements.