Iraq calmer, but more divided The U.S. troop buildup has brought down violence, but that has failed to spark cooperation among politicians. If anything, the country appears more balkanized into ethnic and sectarian enclaves. By Ned Parker, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer December 10, 2007 BAGHDAD -- The U.S. troop buildup in Iraq was meant to freeze the country's civil war so political leaders could rebuild their fractured nation. Ten months later, the country's bloodshed has dropped, but the military strategy has failed to reverse Iraq's disintegration into areas dominated by militias, tribes and parties, with a weak central government struggling to assert its influence. In the south, Shiite militias are at war for the lucrative oil resources in the Basra region. To the west, in Anbar province, Sunni tribes that once fought U.S. forces now help police the streets and control the highways to Jordan and Syria. In the north, Arabs, Kurds and Turkmens are locked in a battle for the regions around Kirkuk and Mosul. In Baghdad, blast walls partition neighborhoods policed by Sunni paramilitary groups and Shiite militias. ' http://www.latimes.com/news/nationw...er10dec10,0,4503892.story?coll=la-home-center Iraq is increasingly a failed state, ruled locally by ethnic or sectarian militias . ..