Friday, August 21, 2009

Iraq: "The Insurgency is not Over"

. . . or so says John Nagl of the Center for a New American Security, as reported by the NYT's Rod Nordland in the wake of Wednesday's massive bombing in Baghdad. Questions abound.

  • How, with six different intelligence services, did the Iraqi authorities somehow allow two trucks full of explosives to penetrate the area around the government ministries?
  • The authorities have arrested 11 security-force officers. Are they scape-goats? Were they arrested for negligence, or for complicity?
  • Will al-Maliki's request for US help in the aftermath come back to haunt him, after weeks of bragging that a US presence was no longer needed to maintain security?

AFP reports that Sunni and Shii are now blaming each other for the disaster. So much for any progress toward reconciliation before the US gets out completely (which, by the way, could happen a full year before the currently mandated end of 2011 if Iraqis vote in a scheduled referendum on the timetable). And some of the strongest accusations against the Maliki government (and the US) are coming from organizations linked to former Baathist and Saddam-era Iraqi army officials.

For what is by far the best analysis of who likely was responsible for the bombings, Juan Cole's recent posting at Informed Comment is indispensable.

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