Right now, I only have questions about US policy in Iraq.
1. Is the US preparing for a big counter-insurgency push against the Sunni insurgency?
The Haifa Street battles and the downing of several US helicopters by what appear to be Sunni insurgent forces tend to make it seem that the US is returning to the aggressive anti-Sunni moves from the summer of 2003.
At the same, Thomas Ricks of the Washington Post has been saying that Prime Minister Maliki and his Shiite governing coalition opposed the surge because they really only wanted the US to get out of the way so the Shia could complete the “ethnic cleansing” of Sunni Baghdad.
If Shiite power–the so-called “80 Percent Solution”–is the aim, why not simply “release” the Shia?
2. Is the US preparing to take on Sadr and the Shiite militias?
Recent attacks on senior Sadrist figures seems to point in that direction.
At the same time, the US continues to stand by Maliki even as he appears to be quite dependent on Sadr.
If the goal is to try to close “Pandora’s box” and restore Sunni minority control, why not back a Sunni coup and “release” a proto-Baathist attack on the Shia?
3. Is the US trying to use American soldiers to protect Shiite and Sunni populations from each other in the name of National Reconciliation?
Good luck with that.
4. Is the US preparing for a two-front war against Shiite militias and the Sunni insurgency?