Saturday, July 14, 2007

So what are we waiting for?

From the AP:
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told reporters Saturday, “We say in full confidence that we are able, God willing, to take the responsibility completely in running the security file if the international forces withdraw at any time they want.”

Of course, in reality the Iraqi army has only become more reliant on the U.S. military with the stepped-up operations in recent months (the number of Iraqi battalions able to operate on their own without U.S. support has dropped in recent months from ten to just six), but I believe that deescalation and a "hunker down" strategy for our forces is the only thing that will give their security forces the incentive to step up anyway.

And with that, why not take al-Maliki's word for it and begin redeploying our troops (who have begun shooting themselves to avoid another tour in Iraq)? It's time to recognize the "surge" has failed, this government (or possibly any) is never going to make the political reconciliation steps they need happen (especially when they decide to take the entire month of August off), and we have no real or good alternative other than to begin withdrawing our troops and change to a more limited mission. So let's do it already.

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