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“A distant policy in this country is deemed as a weakness and also deemed as a failure,’’ said Fawzi Hariri, Iraq’s minister of industry. “It gives the wrong message to Syria and Iran, and it will give the wrong message to the Taliban.’’
The pressure to shift resources to Afghanistan is so great that Washington's Iraq strategy seems to be based on a song and a prayer, said Joost Hiltermann, an Iraq expert with the International Crisis Group think tank.
. . .though a party strongly backed by the Sunni Arab minority narrowly won the most votes and seats in the March election, the two biggest mainly Shia alliances, which came second and third, have agreed to gang up in a wider front to form a ruling coalition in which the Sunnis may not play much of a part. Since the two main Shia alliances teamed up only recently, it is unclear whether the constitution should treat them as the election winners and give them first shot at forming a government.
Some 150 politicians, civil servants, tribal chiefs, police officers, Sunni clerics and members of Awakening Councils have been assassinated throughout Iraq since the election — bloodshed apparently aimed at heightening turmoil in the power vacuum created by more than three months without a national government.
During the past 72 hours alone, at least eight Iraqi police officers, an Iraqi Army general, a government intelligence official, a member of an Awakening Council, a tribal sheik, and a high ranking staff member of Baghdad’s local government have all been assassinated in either Baghdad or Mosul.
Assailants burst into the home of an Iraqi campaign volunteer before dawn Monday, fatally shooting the man before they stabbed his pregnant wife and their five daughters to death, relatives and authorities said. A sixth child, the only son, was found hanging from a ceiling fan with key arteries severed, a cousin said.
At least four people were killed and 23 others wounded, including women and children, by a female suicide bomber at the entrance to the provincial government building, an interior ministry official said.
AQI appears to have become increasingly disconnected from Al Qaeda's central leadership in Afghanistan and Pakistan – and fighting to remain influential. To him, Al Qaeda's lack of announcement regarding new leadership in Iraq after top AQI figures Abu Ayub al-Masri and Abu Omar al-Baghdadi were killed this spring indicates that Al Qaeda headquarters considers the weakened organization here to be much less relevant.
“You have decentralized [AQI] cells that are attempting to continue to execute the last orders given – I think bank robberies and other things are a sign that the funding has been cut,” he said. Odierno, in some of the first detailed comments on AQI's operations, said extortion fees from truck drivers and other parts of the oil distribution network had provided a major part of the organization's revenue, along with payments from major companies such as cellphone carriers.
U.S. officials in Washington acknowledge that the Iraq mission is winding down, and often add that they expect the Obama administration to get credit for executing an orderly exit. A senior administration official said in an interview that the withdrawal should win favor in the Muslim world.
President Barack Obama says U.S. troops are carrying too much of the burden in Iraq and Afghanistan and doing too many things that are more appropriate for civilians, such as building schools and setting up justice systems.
Obama says the problem is that the U.S. doesn't have a civilian effort as large as the military.He wants to change that by building up a "civilian expeditionary force" that can go into an area once the U.S. military deems it safe to do the work of building roads, bridges and schools and setting up civil societies. Source
Originally posted by ErEhWoN
It is ironic that pulling the troops out of Iraq(along with the associated monies going for the cause) is seen as political 'brownie points', while not funding American unemployed is seen by some as too bad, we don't have the money.
Originally posted by ErEhWoN
I, for one, don't mind hanging them out to dry.
We can't afford it.
Nothing political about that. We just can't afford it.
Nothing personal, but we just don't have the money for these unfunded wars.
If we can't give our own people funds to live on when they are down, why spend as an occupying army on people on the other side of the globe?
Pull them out, spend those billions over here on deficit reduction.