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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Crocker and Petraeus: Good news on Iraq?

This AP piece from Robert Burns and Robert Reid likely explains why the Bush administration and al-Maliki government of Iraq have essentially agreed to a timetable for US troop withdrawal:
Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, told the AP on Thursday that the insurgency as a whole has withered to the point where it is no longer a threat to Iraq's future.

"Very clearly, the insurgency is in no position to overthrow the government or, really, even to challenge it," Crocker said. "It's actually almost in no position to try to confront it. By and large, what's left of the insurgency is just trying to hang on."
In a July 19 interview with AP, General David Petraeus strongly implied that even al Qaeda is moving its Iraq operation elsewhere -- namely to Pakistan and Afghanistan:
"We do think that there is some assessment ongoing as to the continued viability of al-Qaida's fight in Iraq."

"They're not going to abandon Iraq. They're not going to write it off. None of that. But what they certainly may do is start to provide some of those resources that would have come to Iraq to Pakistan, possibly Afghanistan."

"There is some intelligence that has picked this up. It's not solid gold intelligence."
So, the good news is not altogether good.

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