July 11, 2013

Post US Iraq: Not a Whole Lotta Change

The bad news? People in Iraq continue killing each other:

Militants killed 25 Iraqi security forces in a wave of attacks on Thursday, and 15 other people died in other attacks including 10 mourners in twin bombings, officials said.

The latest attacks come as Iraq witnesses a surge in violence that has killed more than 2,500 people already this year, including over 240 so far this month.

Analysts point to widespread discontent among Iraq's minority Sunni community, and the failure of the Shia authorities to address their grievances, as the main factors driving the increase in violence.

The good news? Not a single US soldier was killed in the violence.

When I say Iraq was a success, I don't mean to convey the notion that by "success" I mean we turned it into post-war Germany or Japan. No, by success I mean that we successfully defeated one of the world's largest standing armies in a matter of weeks, successfully set up a central government, successfully defeated an insurgency which threatened that government, and then successfully left that government able and willing to fight future threats themselves.

I think anything more than that was just wishful thinking. So, yes, Iraq was a success. And it's not nearly in Iran's pocket as a lot of people are being led to believe.

It's ironic how this has all turned out, isn't it? That the "bad" "unwinnable" war in Iraq turned out so well, while the "good" and "winnable (?)" war in Afghanistan is probably going to end up .... well ... not so great.

So, what is the best case scenario for a post-ISAF Afghanistan? That's a real question.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:37 PM | Comments |