Let’s be clear: The Surge has not worked

Okay, so I've been meaning to do a nice long post regarding the title of this post.  Alas, time for blogging is in quite short supply these days.  Thus, let me mention that you should read last week's Tom Ricks' piece in the Post about the failure of the surge.  In short, it does not matter that casualties are down.  The whole point of the surge was to create an environment for political reconciliation that seems further away than ever.  From the beginning of Ricks' story:

CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq — Senior military commanders here now portray the intransigence of Iraq's Shiite-dominated government as the key threat facing the U.S. effort in Iraq, rather than al-Qaeda terrorists, Sunni insurgents or Iranian-backed militias.

In more than a dozen interviews, U.S. military
officials expressed growing concern over the Iraqi government's failure
to capitalize on sharp declines in attacks against U.S. troops and
Iraqi civilians. A window of opportunity has opened for the government
to reach out to its former foes, said Army Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the commander of day-to-day U.S. military operations in Iraq, but “it's unclear how long that window is going to be open.”

The lack of political progress calls into question the core rationale behind the troop buildup President Bush
announced in January, which was premised on the notion that improved
security would create space for Iraqis to arrive at new power-sharing
arrangements. And what if there is no such breakthrough by next summer?
“If that doesn't happen,” Odierno said, “we're going to have to review
our strategy.”

About that strategy.  It's not working.  Dan Froomkin has a nice column juxtaposing Ricks' sobering account with GWB's Iraq enthusiasm.  

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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