Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Anbar and the Surge

One major claim of those advocating the continuation of the surge and a large American footprint in Iraq is the success in Anbar. They say that the Surge led to the Sunni insurgents in Anbar to side with the coalition (read: U.S.) against Al Qaeda in Iraq. Here is the slide Petraeus used as proof:

But look! Attacks in Anbar began to decrease in November 2006, when it became clear the Dems were going to be in power and the war was reaching an end game. Could it be that the Sunni insurgents realized that the enemy when we left was going to be the Shiites AND al Qaeda and they needed, quickly, to use us to rid themselves of at least one of them. That would bolster the argument that a deadline might actually help pressure Iraqis to get off their asses and do something.

NOTE - I've changed the link to be more reliable.


ProfD said...

It might pressure the Sunnis to do something. The Shiites? Not so much.

The Shiites likely believe they have the numbers and network to win the civil war that comes after we leave. They appear content to wait for it.

Anonymous said...

So the Shiites don't care one way or the other, and the Sunnis will be pressured if we give them a deadline. What's the negative of a deadline for removing troops from anything other than bombing the hell out of Al Qaeda?

Anonymous said...

I don't think that the link to the Petraeus slide works. It just takes me to a Google Mail page.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Philippe Duhart said...

I think the Anbar turnaround is a demonstration that the perception of the US among many insurgents has completely changed. They were fighting the short war against the occupation as the Shia set themselves up for the long war. Now the US is seen less as an enemy than a temporary benefactor who'll assist in setting the Sunnis up for some measure of local political control. Many Sunnis are realizing that they need to better position themselves for the post-occupation reality.

Also, don't discount the effects of good old greed.

Anonymous said...

I actually read this, in an msm piece which talks about the tribal leaders working with the americans. The article appeared several weeks back, maybe a week before bush's trip to anbar. As I recall, the shiek actually said something like, given the political pressure they face at home we could not count on the americans to stay indefinitely. I can't seem to find the reference now, but I know it's out there....

Xanthippas said...

Just fyi, but both Marc Lynch and Juan Cole have postulated that the Sunnis in Anbar are preparing for the "post-America" Iraq. Which makes sense when you think about it for a minute.

Anonymous said...


Simcock said he watched how many Sunnis paid close attention to the U.S. mid-term elections in 2006, which led them to determine that Republican losses meant the U.S. wouldn’t be a permanent fixture in Iraq.

“Iraqis came to the conclusion that we weren’t making the 51st state of Iraq,” he said.

Simcock said he had noticed a distinct difference in the way tribal leaders had stopped referring to coalition forces as an occupation force since those elections.

Alex said...

I wrote something along these lines in January, and in February.

Anonymous said...

why does everytone just assume due to numbers the Shiites will win the civil war when the US leaves. they couldnt organize a bakesale! and they are fractured. the Sunnis on the other hand were the ruling class all along with all the brainpower the country had/has, and Sunni-Saudi money to boot. Sunnis surround Baghdad like Indians and only have to storm the city and drive south to put the mullah-led Shiite rabble back in its place. one example of Shiite incompetence is the most glaring: mullaa-led Iran, and its moribund economy.

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