US Foces Depart From Iraq Town-AlQaeda Enters

General Petraeus has boasted of reduction in deaths of American soldiers as a result of the surge. There is even some speculation this success might result in withdrawal of some American forces from Iraq. But, according to the Iraq newspaper, Azzaman, the departure of US troops from the strategic town of Tuz Khormato led to the immediate entrry of al-Qaeda units which stepped into the vacuum created by not having Americans to fight. Iraq members of parliament are concerned that as US troops leave it may simply be too great an attraction to militants who would step in to run towns that had been cleared of their presence. One parliamentary group issued a statement about their concerns: “The tragic and horrific events in Tuz Khormato only a few days following the withdrawal of the multi-national forces(US military) is a clear indicator of how ill prepared and weak the army and security forces are.”

President Bush is attempting to claim credit for success in Iraq due to reduction of death figures for American troops. But, the surge was, in theory, a means to achieve the ends of Iraqis running their own country. The example of Tuz Khormato suggests the surge is a long way from accomplishing its goal of not merely reducing death figures but of building an Iraq armed force that can handle terrorism in their own nation.