Best Defense

Iraq, the unraveling (XV): the expected

I think that the current wave of bombings in Iraq, with 41 dead today but not much noticed here (I didn’t see anything on the Washington Post‘s home page about it until late morning), was to be expected. I still think that a long-term unraveling is likely, but I think it is likely more to ...

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I think that the current wave of bombings in Iraq, with 41 dead today but not much noticed here (I didn’t see anything on the Washington Post‘s home page about it until late morning), was to be expected. I still think that a long-term unraveling is likely, but I think it is likely more to be a matter of Iraqi forces operating in a divisive, sectarian matter, and of militias re-emerging. For example, Stars & Stripes reports today that some Iraqi units are saying they have been instructed by the Ministry of Defense not to conduct combined operations. So I will not get real concerned about the current  bombing offensive unless it continues, widens and intensifies.

The New York Times does take notice: “Attacks in Baghdad and a city in northern Iraq killed at least 41 people and wounded dozens more on Thursday, the worst violence since Iraq celebrated the withdrawal of American troops from cities and towns last month.”

MUJAHED MOHAMMED/AFP/Getty Images

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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