Tom Lasseter of McClatchy Newspapers (formerly Knight Ridder) has a good article on Bush’s failing strategy in Iraq. Here are a few parts…
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Despite the addition of almost 100,000 U.S.-trained Iraqi troops in the past year, American efforts to pacify central Iraq and the capital appear to be failing, challenging a central assumption behind the U.S. strategy in Iraq: that training more Iraqi security forces will allow American troops to start going home.
The number of trained Iraqi soldiers and police grew from an estimated 168,670 in June 2005 to some 264,600 this June. Yet Baghdad’s morgue is receiving nearly twice as many dead Iraqis each day as it did last year. The number of bombings causing multiple fatalities has risen steadily. Attacks on American and Iraqi troops last month grew 44 percent from June 2005.
Many Iraqis fear that the goal of a peaceful, unified country with a representative government and competent security forces will remain unachievable for a long time to come.
Some U.S. officials acknowledge privately that their hopes that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will be able to rein in Shiite militia groups and persuade Sunni insurgents to negotiate may be misplaced. Many of the government’s leaders, they note, are themselves linked to Shiite or Kurdish militias or guerrilla groups.
“I keep hope up – it’s misguided perhaps – that cooler heads will prevail,” said an American defense official in Iraq, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject. “I have to believe that; otherwise all of this has been a tremendous, tremendous fiasco.”