There has been a modest but ever increasing rise in the number of attacks on U.S. troops in the Abu Ghraib area of Iraq. Although al-Qaeda has been driven away, a large Sunni resistance remains and is active. Many Sunnis have joined Sons of Iraq, an American sponsored group which is paid to maintain law and order. According to a Stars & Stripes reporter, “moreover, a pair of recent bomb attacks–one of which killed four U.S. soldiers– occurred within a few hundred yards of checkpoints manned by Sons of Iraq forces. Lt. Coplonel Mario Diaz, commander of the infantry battalion in the area, noted:”there’s a latent insurency that is capable of rearing its head.” He has been told by Sons of Iraq leaders about a growing frustration among Sunnis who distrust the Iraq government.
Preesident Bush and General Petraeus insist the surge has been successful in reducing attacks. Colonel Diaz says roadside bombs and small-arms fire are down from the previous year, but they have risen from November and December. Sunnis do not feel a sense of belonging to the Iraq government, and it is a matter of time before they turn toward insurgency. Of course, now they have arms supplied by the Americans to conduct a new series of militant attacks.