I read this article and failed to find a satisfactory explanation of the statement in the synopsis that “the U.S. troop buildup has brought down violence.” I see where Sunni groups have decided that al-Qaeda was — for now — a worse foe than the US occupation. I see how Sadr has ordered his men to stand down — for now. I see that Iraqi cities and provinces are almost completely ethnically cleansed into sectarian districts — the violence of the past few years has achieved its objective and is now mostly unnecessary. I do not see what any of this has to do with the “surge,” and the LA Times doesn’t even seem to be able to invent something to help me see that. Even if we do assume the “surge” is responsible for all this calm, the calm has not brought about its intended result — that the government would suddenly assert itself over the land, as if by magic commanding the respect of all Iraqis.
As William Lind might tell you, they are not making states anymore: if you destroy one, the nature of Fourth Generation warfare (and the ubiquity of ever-cheaper military technology for guerrilla types) makes it so that it will be nearly impossible to resurrect a new one in its place.
The state ruled by Baghdad is finished. A new era of city states will erupt over the next decade, and it’s probably the best possible outcome on the road to peace in the region of statelets and kingdoms and ungoverned wilds formerly called Iraq.
The “surge” had no positive effect in Iraq. The fact that the media parrots over and over that its first step has gotten results does not make it so. In fact, in this media-as-Pentagon mouthpiece paradigm, it almost guarantees it’s not.