Thursday, May 17, 2007

Iraq Collapse??

A stinging indictment...

Iraq is on the verge of collapse: report

Iraq's government has lost control of vast areas to powerful local factions and the country is on the verge of collapse and fragmentation, a leading British think-tank said on Thursday.

Chatham House also said there was not one civil war in Iraq, but "several civil wars" between rival communities, and accused Iraq's main neighbors -- Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey -- of having reasons "for seeing the instability there continue."

"It can be argued that Iraq is on the verge of being a failed state which faces the distinct possibility of collapse and fragmentation," it said in a report.

"The Iraqi government is not able to exert authority evenly or effectively over the country. Across huge swathes of territory, it is largely irrelevant in terms of ordering social, economic and political life."

The report also said that a U.S.-backed security crackdown in Baghdad launched in February has failed to reduce overall violence across the country, as insurgent groups have just shifted their activities outside the capital.

The last paragraph is key- the surge has focused on Baghdad. Problems appear to have grown in other areas of the country. We don't see a lot of news reports on that here in the US because most reporters are in Baghdad and cannot- for safety reasons- travel far to report conditions elsewhere.

Perhaps this is why the military now says they won't be able to tell us in September if the surge is working (see below). They know it's not and want to forestall judgment day.

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