How Petraeus Turned Around Iraq

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by red states rule, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. red states rule

    red states rule Senior Member

    May 30, 2006
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    In case any liberal is wondering how the hell Iraq became such a huge problem for them, I hope this helps them

    How Petraeus Turned Around Iraq
    By Trudy Rubin

    On Thursday, Gen. David Petraeus addressed a gathering of hundreds of Sunni sheikhs in flowing robes, including some who were attacking his soldiers around the capital not long ago.

    This is the new Baghdad, where security has improved as tens of thousands of former Sunni insurgents have recently turned against al-Qaeda in Iraq and smashed it with U.S. help. Many of these Sunnis are now on the U.S. payroll. But no one is certain whether these security gains will hold after the extra U.S. "surge" troops are withdrawn as scheduled by next July, or whether Iraq will slip back into brutal sectarian warfare.

    So I asked Petraeus how he assessed the current situation and the post-surge future. We spoke in his Baghdad office, in Saddam Hussein's garish former palace with its marble floors (and marble bathrooms) and grandiose reception rooms now housing U.S. government offices.

    "I think it is going the way we wanted in Baghdad and the belts around Baghdad," he replied. "We have done considerable damage to al-Qaeda in Iraq. Anbar is transformed," he added, referring to the Sunni province once home to the toughest insurgents and a base for al-Qaeda in Iraq.

    Then he paused. "Tenuous is the right word to describe the situation," he said, "and you won't find any military commanders doing victory dances in the end zone. We are all guarded in our assessments, with a great deal of wariness about the what-might-be's."

    Petraeus is right to be both confident and wary.

    The security progress of recent months results largely from a new military and political strategy that reverses the haphazard, incoherent U.S. Iraq policies of the last four tragic years.

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