IRAQ UPDATE….Non-insane conservative James Joyner has read the White House’s latest assessment of the war in Iraq and is distinctly unimpressed:
So, essentially, despite [Al-Qaida in Iraq] comprising something like five percent of the insurgency, we have diverted most of our resources to combating it. And we’re failing. Not only is AQI stronger but, as another report being released today suggests, al Qaeda in general is enjoying a resurgence.
Meanwhile, the [Iraqi Security Forces] continues to be an undependable, lackluster fighting force four years into the game. That, despite their training having been headed up by the counterinsurgency guru who’s now in charge of the whole shebang.
To be fair….
Click the link if you, too, want to be fair. I’m not in the mood.
Actually, I think things are considerably worse than James suggests. Despite what the White House says, we’re fighting AQI not because they’re “high profile” or because they’re actually a genuine branch of al-Qaeda, we’re fighting them because we don’t have any choice. Who else are we going to fight? The Badr Organization? The Mahdi Army? The Sunni insurgents? The Iraqi Security Forces themselves? Hell, we’re allied with the Sunni tribes these days. We’re training the Iraqi Security Forces, making them into an ever more efficient sectarian killing machine. We’re supporting a government that supports the Badr Organization and we’ve apparently got back channel negotiations taking place with Muqtada al-Sadr and the Mahdi Army too. This leaves us with distinctly limited options.
We’re not fighting AQI because they’re the real problem in Iraq. We’re like the drunk looking for his car keys under the street lamp. And we’re doing about as well.