Iraq begins to pay the price of U.S. disengagement

We don’t receive much news about Iraq these days, but the little we do get isn’t very good. For example, Iraqi deaths in April 2009 numbered about twice the January-February 2009 average. In fact, April was the worst month by this standard since July 2008, when the death count was dropping dramatically.

Moreover, the Washington Post reports that the al Qaeda pipeline from Syria is “back in business” after a “lull.”

None of this is surprising. With the U.S. disengaging militarily, Iraqi militias, insurgents, etc. have every reason to become emboldened and to begin jockeying for an enhanced military position. And with President Obama taking a soft line on Syria (and, indeed, exploring a “dialogue” with that terror supporting state), the Syrians no longer have much reason to fear paying a price for promoting instability in Iraq.

Against this backdrop, clueless Nancy Pelosi, on a recent visit to Baghdad, promised that the U.S. will play an “intense” political role in Iraq even as our military role fades away. How political involvement will stem the flow of terrorists into Iraq, or the terrorist activities of those already present, Pelosi did not explain. Nor, as far as I can determine, did she explain why even non-terrorists will allow us to play an “intense” political role once we are no longer a significant military player.

Pelosi did say that,”if we are going to have a diminished physical military presence, we have to have a strong intelligence presence.” But Pelosi ignored the relationship between military presence and intelligence presence. If we are not in the neighborhoods providing security for Iraqis, they are not likely to risk their lives to provide us with intelligence. This is one of the lessons of the surge.

But then Pelosi, Obama, and the rest of the Dems have essentially been in denial when it comes to the surge.


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