Monday, March 05, 2007

Surge update

In a major test of the Iraqi committment to even-handed pacification, U.S. and Iraqi troops spread through the Shiite slum of Sadr City yesterday, following weeks of negotiations with the neighborhood's mayor.

There was no resistance and no violence.

The operation is significant beyond the fact that its a major Shiite neighborhood. Sadr City is home to 2.5 million of Baghdad's 6 million people. So controlling it means controlling a third of the population. And while the major problem with Sadr City has been its use as a base for Shiite militias rather than internal violence, a credible security presence there will weaken the militias by reducing the need for them -- and thus reducing their credibility -- as well as hindering their ability to use it as a base.

Update: on the other hand: 38 die, 105 hurt in a suicide car bombing in the heart of Baghdad. Coupled with attacks on Shiite pilgrims elsewhere in the city, it was the bloodiest day in more than a week.

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Blogger Not Your Mama said...

Wouldn't be so much of a long term problem IF we had the force to expand the operation but we don't.

That's the sticking point that the surge supporters have been ignoring from the get-go. I'm not opposed to a surge, I'm opposed to a surge we can't back up which is nothing more than political face-saving.

Meanwhile Afghanistan is reaching a tipping point, if it hasn't already, beyond which we will not be able to save it either.

Count me as one "flaming liberal" who can see the possible and likely ramifications of losing Afghanistan. Not that it matters, the nutbunnies will continue doing exactly what they want to do regardless.

3/05/2007 7:32 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

Yep. Making the surge work is the first test; sustaining the gains is the second.

3/09/2007 8:29 PM  

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