Thursday, April 30, 2009

Is Iraq Coming Apart?

This is horrible to contemplate, but it looks as if Iraq may be starting to come apart again. Iraq's security forces are simply not up to the task of controlling various Sunni insurgent/resistance groups enough to make people feel really secure. The more that Baghdad is hammered, the less people will feel able to trust the forces of a still fragile central government, and the more incentive for Shiite groups like the long dormant Mahdi army to take up arms again, at least to protect the residents of Sadr City. Meanwhile, Mosul is still up for grabs, as is the situation in Kirkuk; there's been no real progress on Sunni-Shii reconciliation (and the Baath supporters of Saddam Hussein are still out there, still feeling very aggrieved and disenfranchised - and the Maliki government is adamantly opposed to letting them back into the affairs of state). And the more the Sunnis seem resurgent, the more ramped up become the fears of the Kurds in the north, who have indelible memories of suffering at the hands of Iraq's pre-2003 Sunni-dominated governments.

All of which confronts Mr. Obama with a huge problem.

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