The Best Defense

Next in Iraq: Iranian troops? And does that mean that we could see a merger of the Iraqi and Syrian civil wars?

As I told "GoldStarFather" yesterday, I think there is no chance that the Obama administration will send troops into Iraq to bail Maliki out of the mess he has made in Anbar Province.

That raises the question: If not us, who will? Will we see Iranian operatives (Quds Force) going on the attack in Anbar? If so, will the Syrian and Iraqi civil wars merge? And are we looking eventually at one big war from Beirut to Peshawar?


The Best Defense

Did the Iraq Surge finger Sunni insurgents for Maliki and his allies?

Almost every day, it seems, Aswat al-Iraq carries news stories about former members of the Sahwa movement (the Sunni insurgents who were put on the American payroll but not disarmed during the Surge of 2007-08) getting whacked:

Interior Ministry sources reported the killing of ex-pro-government Sahwa (Awakening) member by unknown gunmen in Abu Ghraib area, west Baghdad.

The source told Aswat al-Iraq that the gunmen stormed into the deceased house and killed him with his family.

The family comprised of two women and two children.

Tom again: This pattern of killings makes me wonder if the Surge effectively surfaced and identified the local leadership network of Sunni insurgents, and whether that knowledge is now being used by Prime Minister Maliki and his allies in the low-grade civil war that has resumed in central Iraq.

If so, did the Americans "let a hundred flowers bloom" -- and so create the conditions for the harvesting of those Sunni flowers? By so doing, did we enable a quiet Iranian offensive inside Iraq? If so, I suspect that we did not, in Maoist terms, correctly "handle the contradictions among the people."

On Saturday, the Iraqi army shelled Fallujah. It looks like it and Ramadi are going back into the hands of al Qaeda.

Iraqi Prime Minister Office via Getty Images