Thursday, August 23, 2007

Question of the Day: Is Al Anbar a "Success" of the Surge or Withdrawal?

Both in President Bush's speech yesterday and in a number of comments from Democrats (e.g. Hillary), I've heard of declining violence in Al Anbar. Bush, of course, is portraying this as a success of the surge. But isn't this really the result of capitulation to the Sunni warlords in Al Anbar?

Am I right in understanding that we changed our strategy in Al Anbar from one trying to bring the population under the control of the Shia dominated security forces and/or central government to one where we allow them complete local control and governance?

Given the almost complete Sunni make-up of Al Anbar, wasn't the violence there almost entirely against American and Iraqi troops and their civilian supporters?

So, in other words, isn't any success in Al Anbar actually the result of a partial withdrawal rather than any troop surge?


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