- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Almost every day, it seems, Aswat al-Iraq carries news stories about former members of the Sahwa movement (the Sunni insurgents who were put on the American payroll but not disarmed during the Surge of 2007-08) getting whacked:
Interior Ministry sources reported the killing of ex-pro-government Sahwa (Awakening) member by unknown gunmen in Abu Ghraib area, west Baghdad.
The source told Aswat al-Iraq that the gunmen stormed into the deceased house and killed him with his family.
The family comprised of two women and two children.
Tom again: This pattern of killings makes me wonder if the Surge effectively surfaced and identified the local leadership network of Sunni insurgents, and whether that knowledge is now being used by Prime Minister Maliki and his allies in the low-grade civil war that has resumed in central Iraq.
If so, did the Americans "let a hundred flowers bloom" — and so create the conditions for the harvesting of those Sunni flowers? By so doing, did we enable a quiet Iranian offensive inside Iraq? If so, I suspect that we did not, in Maoist terms, correctly "handle the contradictions among the people."
The spying data came from the Europeans; A dereliction of duty?; Petraeus on FP: how not to lose Iraq; Did the Army spend $93 million it shouldn’t have?; Gates on Skelton: a “great oak has fallen.”Gordon Lubold
Gordon Lubold is a national security reporter for Foreign Policy. He is also the author of FP's Situation Report, an e-mailed newsletter that is blasted out to more than 70,000 national security and foreign affairs subscribers each morning that includes the top nat-sec news, breaking news, tidbits, nuggets and what he likes to call "candy." Before arriving at FP, he was a senior advisor at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, where he wrote on national security and foreign policy. Prior to his arrival at USIP, he was a defense reporter for Politico, where he launched the popular Morning Defense early morning blog and tip-sheet. Prior to that, he was the Pentagon and national security correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, and before that he was the Pentagon correspondent for the Army Times chain of newspapers. He has covered conflict in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries in South Asia, and has reported on military matters in sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia and Latin America as well as at American military bases across the country. He has spoken frequently on the sometimes-contentious relationship between the military and the media as a guest on numerous panels. He also appears on radio and television, including on CNN, public radio's Diane Rehm and To the Point, and C-SPAN's Washington Journal. He lives in Alexandria with his wife and two children.| Situation Report |