Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Surge Is Working (© 2007- GOP Inc.)

I recently posted a Rolling Stone expose on the surge, describing in detail the process by which the U.S. military 'ended' the insurgency... by buying it. The article elaborates-
To engineer a fragile peace, the U.S. military has created and backed dozens of new Sunni militias, which now operate beyond the control of Iraq's central government. The Americans call the units by a variety of euphemisms: Iraqi Security Volunteers (ISVs), neighborhood watch groups, Concerned Local Citizens, Critical Infrastructure Security. The militias prefer a simpler and more dramatic name: They call themselves Sahwa, or "the Awakening."

At least 80,000 men across Iraq are now employed by the Americans as ISVs...

...The American forces responsible for overseeing "volunteer" militias like Osama's have no illusions about their loyalty. "The only reason anything works or anybody deals with us is because we give them money," says a young Army intelligence officer. The 2nd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, which patrols Osama's territory, is handing out $32 million to Iraqis in the district, including $6 million to build the towering walls that, in the words of one U.S. officer, serve only to "make Iraqis more divided than they already are." In districts like Dora, the strategy of the surge seems simple: to buy off every Iraqi in sight. All told, the U.S. is now backing more than 600,000 Iraqi men in the security sector — more than half the number Saddam had at the height of his power. With the ISVs in place, the Americans are now arming both sides in the civil war. "Iraqi solutions for Iraqi problems," as U.S. strategists like to say.

This could never backfire, right? Right???!

Wrong. The Guardian reports that-
The success of the US "surge" strategy in Iraq may be under threat as Sunni militia employed by the US to fight al-Qaida are warning of a national strike because they are not being paid regularly.

Leading members of the 80,000-strong Sahwa, or awakening, councils have said they will stop fighting unless payment of their $10 a day (£5) wage is resumed
. The fighters are accusing the US military of using them to clear al-Qaida militants from dangerous areas and then abandoning them.

A telephone survey by GuardianFilms for Channel 4 News reveals that out of 49 Sahwa councils four with more than 1,400 men have already quit, 38 are threatening to go on strike and two already have.

Improved security in Iraq in recent months has been attributed to a combination of the surge, the truce observed by Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi army, and the effectiveness and commitment of the councils, which are drawn from Sunni Arabs and probably the most significant factor, according to most analysts...

Yikes! Sounds like it's time for a stimulus package for our Iraqi insurgent friends!!

Well, at least that truce with al-Sadr's people is holding u... oh crap. And these are just the short-term fallouts of such a short-sighted and stupid policy. As we learned with our alliances with the muhjadeen in Afghanistan and Hussein in Iraq in the 1980s, the long-term fallout may not be felt for many years later.

Of course, this was only ever meant to buy time for scared politicians here in America, and as it has accomplished that, it's been yet another mission accomplished for George W. Bush's glorious war.

And so when now will we get to leave? The answer, as always, is apparently never.

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