"Communal violence and scant common ground between Shias, Sunnis and Kurds continues to polarize politics," Fingar said yesterday. Even the majority-Shiite bloc that Maliki heads, he said, "does not present a unified front" and has continued to deteriorate in recent months. Meanwhile, the provision of essential services seen as crucial in building support for the government, including electricity and oil production, remains below prewar levels, he said. Some have declined over the past six months.And that's the assessment of the National Security Council, a report that finds about half of the "goals" for Iraq have been met. The contrast is with "an overwhelmingly negative view of military and political conditions in Iraq, saying that Iraqi forces will remain incapable of taking charge of security for years to come and that deepening sectarian political divides remain the largest impediment to progress" by US intelligence services, released yesterday.
"The analysis that the community made in January . . . appears to be borne out by events since then," he said. "That assessment focused on the imperative for reducing levels of violence in the country as a prerequisite for beginning to restore confidence among the competing, fractured body politic and the groups in the political system." While the increase in U.S. troops is "having an effect, it has not yet had a sufficient effect on the violence, in my judgment, to move the country to a place that the serious obstacles to reconciliation can be overcome," Fingar said.
"It will be difficult and time-consuming to bridge the political gulf when violence levels are reduced, and they have not yet been reduced significantly," he said, in what he called his "most optimistic projection."
Since the troops are the cause of the unrest (who wants to be occupied?), it's no surprise more troops haven't quelled the violence. (What was the worst civilian death count from an IED? After the surge "peaked.") And since we can't withdraw until the Iraqi government actually, you know, begins to govern...
Isn't this some demon's version of a nation's hell? Aren't our leaders in a round room running about trying to sit in the corner? Even using the language of the National Security Council, does anything about our Iraq policy make any sense any more?