Thursday, March 16, 2006

Pullback In Iraq Underway For 2006 Elections

With the credible reports of more than a thousand killed in the days following the bombing of the Golden Mosque and the reprisal attacks in Sadr City followed by more than 85 execution style killings in 30 hours, I've been wondering, where are the U.S. troops?

Apparently, they have done little, at least in Baghdad, to intervene in this bloodshed. Instead, I've heard reports of the U.S. maintaining a "low profile."

In fact, I believe this is indicative of a partial pullback. A plan that has been rumored for awhile which decreases the use of ground troops in favor of heavier reliance on an air war to battle the insurgency. Tristero at Hulllabaloo has an excellent breakdown of the U.S.'s shift to an Air War in Iraq.

Of course, the problems with conducting a counterinsurgency with "precision" airstrikes is that they often result in unintended civilian deaths that often include children.

But policy isn't being driven by what's in the humanitarian interests of Iraqis, it has everything to do, in my opinion, with the 2006 elections.

That means Bush must get these numbers down regardless of how many Iraqis will die and without having to acknowledge a retreat. It appears to be working. American deaths have dropped from approximately 2 a day before the bombing of the Golden Mosque to 1 a day in the few weeks since then.


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