Monday, July 30, 2007

Iraq Update

1. The New York Times is reporting that various things about Iraq are looking better. The article is entitled: A War We Just Might Win. CNN interviewed the main author today who said he didn't pick the title, the New York Times did. What he says is for the first time *ever* some things look like they are improving. He said the country is still at least *50-60* years away from being as stable like Switzerland, but at least the country might be able to function somewhat the next year or two. His advice to democratic leaders is wait until 2008, then consider bringing the troops home. Starting now is too early. His strategy sounds familiar. From the above article:

"How much longer should American troops keep fighting and dying to build a new Iraq while Iraqi leaders fail to do their part? And how much longer can we wear down our forces in this mission? These haunting questions underscore the reality that the surge cannot go on forever. But there is enough good happening on the battlefields of Iraq today that Congress should plan on sustaining the effort at least into 2008."

2. We have to do something about Iraq's leadership. The above article and the author's CNN interview state the biggest problem Iraq faces is terrible leadership: a government that just isn't working. Furthermore, Iraq's prime minister
Nouri al-Maliki suposedly hates general Petraeus and his new strategy. (The one that may for the first time be working in some respects.) If we are lucky both we and they will soon get some competent leadership. From the Washington Post:

"A key aide says Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's relations with Gen. David Petraeus are so poor the Iraqi leader may ask Washington to withdraw the overall U.S. commander from his Baghdad post...It seems less a clash of personality than of policy. The Shiite Muslim prime minister has reacted most sharply to the American general's tactic of enlisting Sunni militants, presumably including past killers of Iraqi Shiites, as allies in the fight against al-Qaida here."

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