Saturday, May 31, 2008

Iraq Deaths Down, But For How Long?

From Yahoo News:

BAGHDAD - U.S. military deaths plunged in May to the lowest monthly level in more than four years and civilian casualties were down sharply, too, as Iraqi forces assumed the lead in offensives in three cities and a truce with Shiite extremists took hold.

But many Iraqis as well as U.S. officials and private security analysts are uncertain whether the current lull signals a long-term trend or is simply a breathing spell like so many others before.

U.S. commanders also warn the relative peace is fragile because no lasting political agreements have been reached among the Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish communities.

Read more ....

My Comment: When Shiite Holy sites were deliberately target by Al Qaeda groups in February/March 2006, everyone knew that this was going to precipitate a major civil war. It was only through the intervention of American forces and a change in U.S. command/direction that stopped this religious conflict from spiraling out of control.

Do the same conditions exist to restart another civil war in Iraq? ..... The answer is no. Many of the leaders who were obsessed with starting such a civil war are now either dead or in hiding. In addition, Iraqi security forces are in the first phase of reconstituting themselves, and this in the long run will be the force that will stabilize the country.

If civil war is to return, it will come back under different circumstances. This includes foreign involvement from countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, and foreign extremists groups .... Al Qaeda still being one of them, as well as a lack of political will from Washington to stay for the long run in developing a "Just Society" in Iraq.

Expect the tally to go down further as temperatures rise during the summer months, but what will happen in the fall is anyone's guess at the moment.

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