More U.S. Troops To Bahgdad genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Six Degrees of Speculation

Sectarian violence

In a move that signals the delay of plans to reduce troop levels in Iraq, the U.S. now plans to move troops from Kuwait into Baghdad. Additionally, it appears that the plan to cancel some deployments to Iraq will not materialize at this time given the escalation of violence. Read the full article from The Associated Press here.

The deteriorating security situation — especially in Baghdad — has alarmed U.S. officials, who had hoped that the new national unity government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki would be able to ease tensions so that the U.S. and its international partners could begin removing troops this year.

But the situation has gotten worse since al-Maliki took office May 20. Security is likely to top the agenda when al-Maliki visits the White House this coming week.

The Baghdad area recorded an average of 34 major bombings and shootings for the week ending July 13, the U.S. military said. That was up 40 percent from the daily average of 24 registered between June 14 and July 13.

Much of the violence was due to sectarian attacks. Months of worsening violence has deepened the distrust between Iraq’s Shiites and Sunnis.

A review of the situation seems to suggest that most of the violence stems from long standing sectarian differences. There should be little surprise at the rising violence in the absence of adequate security and a functional government that provides a degree of authority to each of the various factions.

Clearly the calculations prior to the invasion virtually ignored or wholly discounted the underlying sectarian animosities...despite the fact that Sadaam and the minority Sunni's were reviled by many within the majority Shia population. It remains to be seen if a functional consensus government can be established and maintained. As it now stands, the establishment of a democratically elected government entity has done little to quell the hatred that exists. Reports of government sponsored violence serve to further undermine the current government.

Instead of cutbacks, a senior U.S. defense official said the Pentagon was moving ahead with scheduled deployments to Iraq next month and was moving one battalion to Baghdad from Kuwait, where it was in reserve, U.S. officials said.

The U.S. command had drawn up plans to reduce the number of U.S. combat brigades in Iraq from 14 to 12 by September. But that plan has been shelved for the time being because of the security crisis in the capital.

Daniel DiRito | July 22, 2006 | 8:08 AM
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