In a biting critique of British policy in Basra, the International Crisis Group bluntly states there has been virtually total failure in that area of Iraq. British troops tried a surge and the result is no change in what confronts people in their daily life — chaos is the only constant. Basra’s political arena is controlled by groups vying for power and resources whose only aim is perpetuation of their own power.
Tribal vendettas, neighborhood vigilantism, bloody attacks on civilians are the only constant in daily life. The local population has no choice but to seek refuge from one of the dominant groups since government is ineffective. We can expect similar results from the American surge.
It is apparent existing policies are not working. Perhaps, it is time for the cliche, “thinking outside the box” to be attempted. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iran are the four dominant Arab nations in the region. it might be interesting to turn Iraq over to these four powers and see what they come up with in terms of ending the bloodshed. At a minmum, the United States and Britain can invite these nations to a meeting whose goal is resolving the Iraq chaos. What’s to lose, it can’t get any worse than it is.