Friday, November 21, 2008

Baghdad Lock down

As I have constantly pointed out the progress made in Iraq since the June 2007 surge is very fragile. At any time the "Sunni awakening" which turned many Iraqi Sunnis against Al Quaeda could be reversed. Also the ceasefire between Moqtada Al Sadr's Al Mehdi army and US forces is tenuous at best. This has become even more evident this week as AL Sadr and his supporters (pictured) increase their opposition to the new security pact between the US and the Iraqi government that permits US forces to stay in the country for another 3 years. A massive Shiite protest is due in Iraq today against the security pact, due to go before parliament next week. Baghdad is in lock down as a result. How Sadr's supporters react to the massive security clamp down is unclear but I think it is quiet possible that the ceasefire could be over by the weekend.

2 comments:

Annie said...

hi, do you think the US forces are needed there for the next 3 years? will obama keep as many troops there?

Ted Leddy said...

Annie

Thank you for the comment. I predict Obama will continually draw down US troop levels until all regular combat troops are gone which should be within 16 months of his presidency as promised pre election. However after that time frame but before the three years of the security pact expire he will probably leave significant numbers of special counter insurgency troops to launch special ops against Al Qaeda.

Do I think they are Needed ? No certainly not for three years. The presence of US troops in Iraq attracts as much violence as it prevents.