The main military objectives of our surge in Iraq were to crush al Qaeda and substantially to reduce the sectarian violence in Baghdad. The first objective focused on Anbar province but also required military action elsewhere. The latter objective required military action not just in Baghdad but also in surrounding areas. However, neither objective entailed fighting in the south, where the Shia are in control and al Qaeda is not a force.
To date, the surge has accomplished its two main military objectives. Al Qaeda has been routed in Anbar province and elsewhere, and violence is way down in Baghdad. For the Iraqi government, however, these successes were not enough. In Basra, Iraq
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