Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The US Troop Surge In Iraq, A Year Later

From Yahoo News:

BAGHDAD - A year ago in Baghdad: Shiite militiamen and Sunni insurgents owned entire neighborhoods and key areas beyond. Iraq's government was adrift, and U.S. commanders weighed the real possibility of being trapped in a full-scale civil war.

Washington's response was "the surge," launched Feb. 14, 2007, with the 82nd Airborne as the vanguard of an American troop buildup that would climb to 30,000 extra U.S. soldiers by the summer.

A year later — through a mix of military might, new allies and some fortunate timing — Iraq looks very different.

Read more ....

My Comment: What difference a year makes. BUT ..... violence and problems still persist. Animosity and a total lack of trust persists between all sides. Political and religious extremists are active on the local, provincial, and central government levels. Poverty, community displacement, ethnic cleansing, corruption, discrimination against minorities, and the presence of death squads are everywhere.

Is there hope for Iraq .... I think so. The direction for peace and stabilization appear to be going the right way. But the healing process is going to take a long time, and it can still change to the worse in a flash.

Saddam Hussein and his supporters devastated and corrupted the culture of Iraq. The 2003 invasion and occupation further shocked Iraqi society, with the subsequent involvement of Al Qaeda, foreign agents, scores to settle, and subsequent short but bloody civil war further galvanizing everyone.

The U.S. troop surge bought a little time for healing and providing a veneer of security. The true test will happen when American forces start to go home this summer,

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