• Future of Iraq: Troops Face Dangers in South

    May 23, 2011

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    Posted in: Iran, Iraq, Military

    Care for a preview of 2012 in Iraq?

    Magic 8 Ball predicts… Iraq agrees to allow US forces to remain in-country under some sort of flimsy cover, I don’t know, protecting something something freedom, with a semi-secret side agreement that the US will be free to hunt terrorists while staying out of “internal politics,” meaning we won’t intervene when Shias gun down Sunnis to keep the Sadrists semi-happy. US troops in central Iraq will be reasonably safe, as long as they avoid the wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time syndrome. That said, the working out of the details of this arrangement will hurt; two Americans were killed just yesterday in Baghdad, victims of a car bomb attack on their convoy.

    Northern Iraq? OK, Joe! The Kurds will mostly ignore the soldiers as long as they plop themselves down between the Kurds and the Arabs and keep the two from a cat fight over oil revenues. Not much different than what we’re doing up there today. Likely going to be the easy duty in Iraq. Again, the ground settling will be a bumpy process– last week’s bombings killed dozens right in Kirkuk.

    Which leaves… the south. A Shia area neatly cleansed of Sunnis, Iranian influence remains as important as Baghdad’s. Have a look at a recent Army Times article for a preview of what dangerous duty in Iraq will look like.

    The buffet selection down south include mortars, IEDs, EFPs and more. The groups serving up such delicacies include Kataib Hezbollah, which has links to the Lebanon-based Hezbollah group; League of the Righteous, also known by its Arabic name, Asaib Ahl al-Haq; and the Promised Day Brigade, affiliated with anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. All are believed to get financing and support from Iran.

    Army Times quotes Michael Knights, of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, as saying “Though effective attacks are still rare, the deaths of five US troops in one month is a warning that more determined Iranian-backed attacks could continue if the United States pushes its present initiative to keep a residual force in Iraq.”

    The US-Iran proxy war will continue. Soldiers in Iraq in 2012 and beyond will continue to take casualties long into the future down south. It will be a very poor legacy of eight years of war without a point.



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