The Corner

Iraq

My understanding is that more troops are headed into Baghdad soon, both Iraqi and American. They will be re-deployed from around the rest of the country. Part of the problem the new government is having is that it has a certain reluctance to act decisively and make dramatic gestures. I have heard different, although related, theories of why. One is that after 30-something years of tyranny the Iraqis simply have trouble taking initiative (at least the ones who aren’t blowing things up). The other is that the Shia still have a certain inferiority complex, believing deep down that the Sunnis are meant to rule. Whatever the cause, Maliki’s government obviously has to get over this. The cycle of violence is accelerating, and we have to try to accelerate our efforts along with it, working the outreach to the Sunnis harder and attempting as fast as we plausibly can to build up and reform the Iraqi security forces. The latter is a way potentially to tamp down at least some of the Shia violence, since some of it emanates from the forces of the interior ministry. More about how we can better work with the Iraqi security forces in a minute…

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