Monday, August 4, 2008

The Surge or the Awakening

There is a debate currently raging in the United States, the outcome of which will have a definite impact on the presidential election in November. As we all know violence levels in Iraq have decreased dramatically over the last year to the current point where they are at the lowest of the entire war. But what has caused this ? Was it Bush's decision in June 2007 to send an extra 30,000 troops to tackle sectarian violence, known as the surge or was it a series of political events such as the Anbar or Sunni Awakening and the compromise reached between the Iraqi government and the Shiite militias. John McCain says A, Barack Obama says B.
John McCain, touring Baghdad with General Petreus, credits the "surge" with improving security in the capital

I posted last week about "Obama's Iraq problem". Let me clarify here. Obama was one of the few politicians in the US opposed to the war from the beginning. Even prominent Democrats that became anti war like John Kerry and Hillary Clinton voted in favour of military action back in March 03. This negatively affected both of their presidential campaigns as they were both vulnerable to accusations of flip flopping. Obama never had this problem, until recently. Because of the continuing improvements in Baghdad Obama has to reevaluate his position on Iraq. One way of doing this is by emphasising the significance of the political developments in Iraq and by lessening the relevance of the surge. He has to do this without appearing to make light of the efforts the troops have made. McCain ads are popping up everywhere accusing Obama of belittling the achievements of the troops. Watch this McCain add below that accuses Obama of being all over the place on Iraq.

So we have concluded that Obama needs to stress the political progress in Iraq in order to appear consistent. Tomorrow I will post on the specific nature of these developments.

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