Monday, March 05, 2007

Opinion (Fareed Zakaria): Instead of a military surge, why not an economic one?

March 5, 2007 issue - We are now fighting a war intelligently in Iraq. The only problem is, it's the last war, not the present one. The United States has gambled all its efforts on a troop surge that tackles the conflict that defined Iraq from 2003 to 2005—the insurgency—rather than the civil war now raging across the country. Worse, in trying to solve yesterday's problem we are exacerbating today's. In Baghdad, Shiite militias have melted away. Almost all U.S. military operations are now directed against Sunni insurgents. If those are successful, the picture could look less violent in six months, but it will be a dangerous stasis. A senior U.S. military officer, who is not allowed to speak on the record on these matters, said to me, "If we continue down the path we're on, the Sunnis in Iraq will throw their lot behind Al Qaeda, and the Sunni majority in the Arab world will believe that we helped in the killing and cleansing of their brethren in Iraq. That's not a good outcome for the security of the American people."

Read the rest at Newsweek