Above: US Soldier in Iraq
Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker are the two top officials in Iraq located on Capitol Hill this week to report on the know about in the Iraq war, thou there is not much to expect that the US policy will probably have so little change before the year ends and before the arrival of America’s next president.
It is not due to the reason that General Petraeus has pointed out he will recommend regarding further drawdown of US forces that surpasses the level that they were supposed to be programmed to hit at midsummer. This is the same case due to despite security gains of the past year, Iraq is expect to be stagnant in a fragile state for as long as President Bush’s term.
There are several factors that can lead to unstable conditions on the ground:
- US and Shiite-dominated government was a disappointment to Sunni over the rate which Sunni are being incorporated into the Iraqi Army with the jobs provided.
- There had been a power struggle amongst militias and Iraq’s dominant Shiite groups, most probably in the south. Recent in Basra can also be a matter in the case.
- Not being ready to take over military operations coalition forces and US on the side of Iraqi security.
- Diversifying political jockeying un the run-up to provincial elections that is being readied for fall.
- There’s a strong hold in the north where signs that Al Qaeda in Iraq and affiliated Islamic extremists are standing and established. There are also expectations especially on the side of that Al Qaeda in Iraq will make or announce violent statement that will occur during and within the US elections.
- As Iraq and the US cross electoral periods, questions had been raised regarding how Iran will make use of its influence in Iraq.
An Iraq specialist at the National Defense University by the name of Judith Yaphe said, “We’re definitely going to hear a lot from [Petraeus and Mr. Crocker] about what our military strategy has accomplished and how there still needs to be more political progress,”
“But there’s a lot of risk and uncertainty – for the Iraqis, for our role in Iraq, for our elections, so I don’t see it as a period when we’re going to see much change in the way of strategy.”
With Congress, the status quo may not be as well, but the Democrats may not have that much ability then they did compared to fall when to force changes with the last Patraeus-Crocker hearings. Some Democratic strategists are also expecting so little to come out in this upcoming week’s Iraq hearings since the focus is more on the next administration.
Even though Iraq was America’s top concern, the holding for the next 10 consecutive months is not acceptable for US interests, for the region, for Iraq, or for the troops as some lawmakers state.
Mocratic Sen. Joseph Biden asks, “What is the policy from here?”, a chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee that will take not of Petraeus and Crocker’s announcement. “Is [the Bush administration] intending to bind the next administration? … I truly believe the president’s plan is to muddle through and to hand it off to the next president,” he adds. “I don’t think they know what to do.”
There are over 35,000 US troops is pointing out on what the US should do in Iraq, some experts say that it protects civilians even more and sway them from militias, in example. However, even if there are those who implement troop reduction due to the term note and political climate pertaining that the US is not going to be involved in it for that long.
A former National Security Council Persian Gulf expert by the name of Ken Pillack who is not located at the Brooking Institution says that the US having had stabilized the north and the Sunni Anbar Province, should to in where Iraq’s dominant Shiite communities are in great flux which is in the south.
He says, “The surge has actually encouraged a fair percentage of the Shia population,” Quietly, the Shia communities have begun to come over and are saying, ‘We don’t really like’ ” the multiply political-party-affiliated militias that have divided them. If the US does not grab hold of the moment with the Shiite population he says, it will only weaken as it does not try to be associated with the same powerful militias.
Any act of pushing at Iraq’s south would bring the US close feud and confrontation with Iran, where the Iran’s influence there are growing strongly. Some analysts say that the US would do well to addressing the issue in a larger and more context manner. Ms. Yaphe said, “If you want peace in Iraq, if you want America to be able to have an exit strategy, the road goes through Tehran,” former CIA Middle East analyst.
Still other analysts say, the gesture was supposed to inflict and facilitate a political reconciliation in Iraq, and so far it has not done that.
An example of this would be 90,000 Sunnis may now be armed to help fighting againsts AL Qaeda in Iraq, However most of these had not been integrated in the Iraq security forces by the Shiit-led government.
Wayne White , a former Irraq expert together with the State Department Policy Planning Staff and is now in the Middle East institute says, “If you are on the fence as a tribal sheikh …, wondering if you want to join in on this movement, what the government has been doing in terms of who they are and aren’t taking into the security personnel has not been encouraging,”
Some experts that are more on the Provincial rather than the national level and not according to US “benchmarks”, in Iraq share a little hope of any reconciliation to be occurring.
But other share the fine points and advantages of a political reconciliation, whether or not it is happening and how fast it can occur, are not at all in connection with the US political context.
Ivo Daadler who is a US foreign-policy specialist at the Brookings instituted shared, “The realistic timetable for [stabilizing Iraq] may be 10 years, but the political timetable is 10 months,”. Believing that the congressional effort wont be as strong as to push in changing Iraq policy.
Mr. Daalder added, “The political debate will no longer be on the Hill, but what you do in ’09.”