The Iraq war is over — for us.
That doesn’t mean that the United States won or achieved all of its aims or that fighting among Iraqis will stop. It doesn’t mean that Iraq is stable, democratic and relatively free of corruption.
The war is over for the United States because the Iraqis don’t really need or want American forces around anymore. Every time U.S. troops roll out of the gate with their Iraqi counterparts in Baghdad, they discredit the Iraqi forces in the eyes of their people. They make their Iraqi partners’ jobs harder. Although senior U.S. commanders understand and accept this fact privately, they will never admit it. [continued…]
When thieves shot dead eight guards and made off with $4.8 million in one of Iraq’s biggest-ever bank heists last week, fingers quickly pointed at the Sunni-led insurgency.
Extremists must be turning to crime to finance their activities, so the hypothesis went, and $4.8 million would pay for a lot of bombs.
But after a series of arrests and a sweep of a government compound, Iraqi police say the culprits were Iraqi army officers attached to the elite unit guarding Shiite Vice President Adel Abdul Mehdi. [continued…]