As General Petraeus and Ambasador Crocker, prepare to offer their ideas on the past, present, and future of Iraq, some Democratic congressmen are raising questions about the famous surge. Senator Carl Levin of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, wants to know why the Iraq government has accumulated a sum of $30 billion which rests in US banks drawing interest while the American public is paying high prices for gasoline. “I want the details,” said Levin, “I’m going to be pressing the ambassador about the funding issues.” However, the main topic of discussion will center on the success or failure of the surge durng the past few months. Senator Joseph Biden of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee wants to know: “Where are we after the surge? Back to where we were before it started, with 140,000 troops in Iraq and no end in sight?
Republican supporters of the surge argue the surge worked and fatalities are down. They point to examples of new legislation passed by the Iraq legislature and actions to confront violence by the government of Prime Minister Maliki. Or, as Biden raises, have we gone “from drowning in Iraq to treading water?” The Iraq government still requires the presence of 140,000 American troops despite five years of fighting.
In the end, the war in Iraq has always centered on political issues, not military. The Maliki government has failed to win the trust or support of Sunni members of their nation and divisions within the predominant Shiites continue to divide the country. Until those factors are addressed, fighting will continue in Iraq.