Saturday, August 18, 2007

"Near Total Collapse"

Washington Post:
In a report to be released next week, the Fund for Peace calls for the "managed" breakup of Iraq into three separate states with their own governments and representatives to the United Nations, but continued economic cooperation in a larger entity modeled on the European Union.

Prospects of Iraqi leaders being able to establish a multiethnic democracy are now "fanciful," the nonpartisan Washington think tank says in its report, "A Way Out: The Union of Iraqi States." Based on data tracked monthly since before the U.S. invasion, the report authored by Fund for Peace President Pauline Baker concludes that Iraq is now "near total collapse."

"While there may be pockets of improvement from the 'surge,' these are transitory and limited achievements that are about four years too late. . . . Rather than fight fragmentation, it would be better to manage the trend with a view toward establishing an entirely new political order," the report says.

The report is one of several official and unofficial Iraq assessments coming over the next month, culminating with the Bush administration's own much-awaited evaluation of Iraq's security and political progress due Sept. 15.
We know what the White House will say: just one more Friedman Unit, and we'll get those flowers we were promised.


Los Angeles Times:
Missiles and mortars struck areas of Baghdad and central Iraq on Saturday where violence and civilian deaths had decreased in recent weeks, raising concerns that insurgents were adapting their strategy to get around an increase in U.S. troops.

At least 14 Iraqis were killed, including seven in a mortar barrage aimed at a Shiite residential area north of Baghdad in the town of Khalis. Car bombs killed four people in Kirkuk, where a policeman was shot to death earlier in the day, and two were killed in a missile attack on a farming village near Ramadi.

The Ramadi attack unleashed panic in an area that had been relatively peaceful in recent weeks, said Juma Salim, a 62-year-old farmer who claimed that the presence of U.S. troops provoked the violence.

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