I think there are a couple things that are pretty obvious about the aftermath of the Iraq war. One being we didn’t have nearly enough troops to secure the peace. That’s obvious. Another being the fact that Iraqis aren’t ready to handle their own security. And we’ve been rushing it. And it’s now backfiring…big time.
From the NY Times:
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Aug. 5 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬? Over the past year, as American commanders pushed Iraqi forces to take over responsibility for this violent capital, Baghdad became a markedly more dangerous place.
Now the Americans are being forced to call in more of their own troops to bring the city under control.
The failure of the Iraqis to halt the slide into chaos in Baghdad undercuts the central premise of the American project here: that Iraqi forces can be trained and equipped to secure their own country, allowing the Americans to go home.
And then we have amazing statements like this from our people over there:
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œI donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t think we moved too quickly,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚? General Caldwell said of putting the Iraqis in charge of Baghdad. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œI donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t think anyone could have anticipated the sectarian violence.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚?
He doesn’t think anyone could have anticipated? Well, excuse me but do these people understand Iraqi’s history? We were talking on this blog at the beginning of the year about civil war. For all intents and purporse, these sectarian tensions have existed for as long as Iraq has existed and I’m frankly very tired of hearing things like “I don’t think anyone could have antcipated ________.”
People did anticipate, they warned the administration and they were ignored. And that’s why securing the peace has been so unsuccessful.
Let’s hope this latest infusion of troops will bring about a more realistic view of what it’s going to take to make Iraq a safer place for it citizens. And for their sake, let’s hope it’s not too late.