Carnage in Baghdad - US drawdown in Iraq to quick?

With today's series of bombings in Baghdad resulting in the worst loss of life in recent years - is the US drawdown and reliance on Iraqi sy forces happening too quickly?

Truck bombs and a barrage of mortars have killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 500 in Baghdad, in the deadliest attacks in months.

One vehicle exploded outside the foreign ministry near the perimeter of the heavily guarded government Green Zone, leaving a huge crater.

Another blast went off close to the finance ministry building.

While Baghdad is often hit by attacks, it is unusual for them to penetrate such well-fortified areas of the city.

Since Iraqi forces took over responsibility for security in the city in late June, most attacks have targeted poor Shia neighbourhoods, says the BBC's Natalia Antelava in Baghdad.
Source: BBC Webpage
Well, the septics were perhaps too quick to have a go at the British for firstly pulling back to base and then bugging out.

They also called it a victory and vamooshed to a degree.

For us Brits, having been efectively chucked out of Iraq by their new president, and of course, with the collusion of the septics too, the war is over.

Quite frankly, I'm glad we're out of it, because it's someone elses problem (their profit too if I'm not mistaken about the oil deals).

We have our plates full in Afghan, where even the septics are saying UK forces have too much to do with too little.

Edited to add: Damn you Desktop Commando! :D

Edited to add again: Just what DID we get for our efforts and the cost in lives in Iraq?


Book Reviewer
As long as the Iraqis only kill each other, who cares? This is the Arab version of democracy.
Extremist said:
For us Brits, having been efectively chucked out of Iraq by their new president, and of course, with the collusion of the septics too, the war is over.

Quite frankly, I'm glad we're out of it, because it's someone elses problem (their profit too if I'm not mistaken about the oil deals).
I would remind you that there are still some Brits in Baghdad as part of NATO.

Secondly, the Americans argued quite hard that the UK MOU should have been renewed; partly because they have had to backfill all the posts vacated by the subsequent British exodus. Ultimately, the decision to expel the Brits was very much driven by Maliki's personal agenda combined with his desire to appease the COR and show 'strength' in advance of the forthcoming elections.
It could be that Al-queda/Taliban are trying to keep the Americans in two places still, rather than let them help out in Afghan.The idea was for the Uk to drawdown in Iraq and concentrate on Afghan but Brown used that as an excuse to get out.
Doesn't matter how slowly you withdraw their is always going to be a vacuum to fill.
seaweed said:
As long as the Iraqis only kill each other, who cares? This is the Arab version of democracy.
Bloody Nora what primate cage did you escape from?
Some of us have Iraqi friends and care very much!
The SOFA time line for US withdrawal has always been unrealistic. On both the Bush and al Maliki sides it was mainly driven by domestic political concerns and a realism of the very limited patience of both populations. From the US side it represents an acceptance that Iraq will take its own shape despite DC's best efforts to produce something less distasteful. Its also wantonly optimistic (Barry is even worse than Dubya in this) about the thin chance of DC achieving a clean extraction from the regional mess.

This particular set of incidents has little to do with US troops withdrawing from Iraqi city streets. There has been a steady trickle of mass casualty attacks in the past few months mainly on Shi'a slums. At best US troops were tamping down the scale of violence and limiting target areas. More significant was their partnership with the "Awakenings" movement and those groups have been unraveling under the scorn of the Green Zone "Persians".

Despite the improvements made in security since the dire days of 07 no real ethno-sectarian reconciliation in Iraqi politics has occurred. That leaves those that don't like the regime being run out the Green Zone plenty of scope for sparking a resumption of the civil war. They know there are only so many stress relieving buffties folks like JAM can take the Black and Decker to before it becomes necessary to bite back hard.

The political tensions extend into the ISF itself:
The Next 2 Years

Upon withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraqi cities, the ISF will be at a crossroads. In the next 2 years, the ISF can continue either in the direction of divisive ethno-sectarianism or more in the direction of unifying nationalism. There are tradeoffs for both directions, and the Iraqi army and police will develop at different paces because of the different nature of their missions and proximity to political parties. The direction of ethno-sectarianism provides a temporary balance of power between the disparate incumbent political parties, who will attempt to strengthen their ties to the ISF to continue pursuing their interests. Iran will retain influence over the Shia parties, which will in turn try to gain more influence over the ISF in their areas; Kurdish aspirations will retain influence over the Kurdish parties, but the Kurdish parties’ influence over the ISF will decrease as the government of Iraq integrates the IA in their areas; and Arab states and Turkey will retain their influence over the Sunni parties. On the other hand, the direction of nationalism provides a long-term balance of power between the competing countries in the Middle East, but will include short-term political risks, as it will be difficult to separate the incumbent ethno-sectarian political parties from their entrenched ties to the ISF.

Over the next few months, Iraq will witness an increasing number of attacks. Terrorist organizations, militias, and even military factions of ethno-sectarian political parties will be behind these attacks. The attacks will be conducted in different ways, but each will be gauging ISF fault lines, strengths, and vulnerabilities. The incumbent ethno-sectarian political parties, which do not gain political power from the growing nationalist movement, will benefit the most from these attacks. They will use the attacks to prove to their constituencies that the nationalist movement will not bring security and that the al-Maliki administration has failed. As security again becomes the main priority for Iraqi voters, the incumbent ethno-sectarian parties will delay the politically difficult and sensitive short-term reforms needed to achieve national reconciliation and fight corruption and government mismanagement.

In its oversight capacity, the United States must pay close attention to political party meddling in the ISF and use the leverage discussed above to pressure the government of Iraq to decrease such interference. Acting passively to counter—or even justifying—ethno-sectarian party meddling in the ISF as a temporary means for a graceful U.S. exit from Iraq risks decreasing the likely success of political nationalism in the upcoming elections. After all the sacrifices made in Iraq, the United States cannot afford to allow the ISF to go in the direction of ethno-sectarianism. The best chance for long-term success in Iraq is steering the ISF toward the direction of loyalty to the state. To do this, the United States will need to prepare a strategy using its political, military, and economic ties with regional allies and Iraqi politicians to keep the incumbent ethno-sectarian parties away from the ISF.
Some chance! This is hardly surprising. Even Saddam's army was a carefully balanced mass of tribal and political tensions.

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