Saturday, January 12, 2008

The surge has not worked

By Michael J.W. Stickings

This according to WaPo's Thomas Ricks, who knows a thing or two about Iraq:

I think Iraqis recognize that large parts of Baghdad are more peaceful than they were, but violence is basically back to 2005 levels. And that was no picnic, 2005. It's just 2006 was pure hell.

Think Progress has the video of Ricks on Olbermann. Make sure to watch it.


While in England recently I had the opportunity to talk at length to a former British special forces soldier who now works for a private security firm operating in Iraq. He made basically the same point. The surge has worked insofar as the violence is down in some parts of the country. The problem is that the surge will soon end -- the current troop levels cannot be sustained -- and that it is simply being waited out by many of those who wish to commit acts of violence. In other words, there is a certain calm before the storm right now -- although the calm is relative. This contractor told me that the situation in Iraq is much worse than is being reported. Some positive developments are going unreported (or underreported), too, but, for the most part, it is simply chaos and anarchy, and genocide. Iraq is still, it seems, pure hell -- and it will only get worse.

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