Sunday, July 23, 2006

The New Plan

Fortress Baghdad. LATimes (07.22.06), via
"President Bush is expected to announce a significant shift in strategy for improving Baghdad's security when the Iraqi prime minister visits Washington next week, an acknowledgment that a much-publicized military operation launched last month has failed to stem the violence. The U.S.-Iraqi offensive was touted as a major initiative by the government of Prime Minister Nouri Maliki. But the operation has failed to prevent sectarian violence in Baghdad from escalating to unprecedented highs." U.S. Plans Shift in Iraq Strategy
Last month's plan was to have Iraqi forces take "security responsibilities in several Baghdad neighborhoods". " A senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity", noted that "the initial results, of that plan have been disappointing'." Disappointing indeed. "A United Nations study released this week found that 3,149 civilians were killed in Iraq in June — an 18% increase from May — and that most of the deaths occurred in Baghdad." Essentially, the new plan will be to move our guys back into Baghdad to take over from the Iraqis. In fact, it's already happening. "During a trip to Baghdad last week, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said the number of U.S. forces in the Iraqi capital had already increased from 40,000 to 55,000 in response to the surge in attacks." The new plan also will include another element which is sure to become an instant hit with the locals: "an increased emphasis on rounding up local leaders who are instigating and provoking sectarian violence, such as members of the militia loyal to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr." As things change, so do things remain the same. Because the Administration has no real clue as to what to do, it's just keeps making shit up as it goes along. Stay tuned. September's plan is right around the corner.


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