Sunday, January 14, 2007
Immediate effects of the "surge"
Ok. This is what is happening even as we speak. Sunni insurgents who aren't just protecting their neighborhood are moving to Diyala because it is out of the areas Bush mentioned the surge is going to affect. Shiite militias are taking off their uniforms and blending in with the civilians. Those who are doing the killings are taking a cautious approach of waiting to see what the effect of Bush's surge will be. An immediate effect will be a dip in killings as the killers take a thoughtful pause. Meanwhile, current US and Iraqi forces are trying to implement the "puddles spreading" strategy by spreading areas of security by creating sequential gated communities. That is why you see jet fighters flying over parts of Baghdad. By Gates' comments, this surge will last less than a year. During this time, the US and Iraqi security forces will attempt to create large swaths of area of denial in both Baghdad and the Anbar province. The two major obstacles to the short term success of the surge is Maliki's conflict of interest with Sadr and the US bureacracy. The major obstacles to the long term success of the surge is the ability of the forces hiding in Diyala to seep back and the ability to keep the Shiite militias disarmed. After the surge, it will be up to the Iraqi security forces to keep the security gained. God help Iraq if they aren't ready. As for the US, this is effectively Bush's last major action in Iraq. He has spent what is left of any political capital left on this. Any other major decision including a Vietnam-like withdrawal will most likely wait for the 2008 elections.