Yesterday I linked to a report stating large-scale attacks are down in Iraq, and it was met with some skepticism. Last night on Anderson Cooper 360, Michael Ware said some things which seem to confirm my general opinion of what is going on in Iraq:
COOPER: It has been nearly six months since the U.S. increased its troop levels in Iraq, and today U.S. military commanders said major attacks are declining. Officials said there are about half as many truck bombs and other large al Qaeda-style attacks in July as in March.
Of course, any reduction in the violence is great news, but the question is, are major attacks declining as a direct result of the so- called troop surge? That’s where things get more complicated.
Joining me now is CNN’s Michael Ware.
Michael, the U.S. military commander in Iraq says that large- scale al Qaeda-style attacks have declined by almost 50 percent this year, down to 70 attacks a month from a high of 130. Is this because of more boots on the ground?
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, the surge is a part of it. Militarily, the surge is designed to deny al Qaeda and the Shia death squads the freedom of movement they once had in Baghdad.
Are they doing that? Yes, to some degree. The surge has shown some successes.
But the real success, Anderson, is coming from something totally different, and that is coming from America cutting deals with its former enemies, principally the Ba’athist insurgents, the Sunni insurgents. It’s by cutting a deal with the Ba’ath Party on the terms that the Ba’ath Party offered America four years ago and had to wait for America to be battered into submission to accept that the tide has turned against al Qaeda.
It’s by unleashing the Ba’ath that the al Qaeda bombs are coming down, that the al Qaeda attacks are starting to slow down, not directly from the surge and not from the presence of U.S. troops.
What the U.S. troops are doing is giving a set of numbers, a series of data, a number of lowered attack figures that may give the military the political cover it needs in Washington. But at the end of the day, by cutting these deals the seeds are being sown for a much broader, more entrenched civil war that America will leave behind.
Given the fact that the larger political reconciliation at the national level in Iraq is going nowhere, it seems that the successes at the local level (and yes, there are successes) will probably be short-lived. The most likely outcome is that, as Ware goes on to reference, the surge will succeed in providing the cover to eventually withdraw the troops.
At which time there will be the inevitable bloodbath.
*** Update ***
And yes, this is the same Michael Ware upon whom jihad was declared by Greater Wingnuttia. He seems unscathed from their previous full frontal assault.