The Benefits of Ethnological Reboot

Tom Barnett notes Patreaus appears to be detaching Iraqi Shia from the worst of the militias, like he earlier helped detach Iraqi Sunni Arabs from al Qaeda in Iraq:

Interesting. To extent this repeats like Al-Qaeda in Anbar, Petraeus may be pulling off a double.

Like the Anbar Awakening, Patreaus appears to be smart enough to recognize victory when it presents itself. (This is no small accomplishment.) In particular, now that the Shia appear to have captured the seat of the Caliphs from their Sunni Arab rivals, the main benefit of the Shia militias (clear out Sunni houses, protection from Sunni terrorism) have gone away.

Here’s a second possible explanation: the Shia have basically won the Battle of Baghdad. Given their victory plus the additional security that has resulted from the surge of U.S. forces, there simply isn’t the need to rely on militias, especially thuggish ones.

Ethnological reboot — successfully completed ethnic cleansing — can provide the social harmony a nation needs for growth. It looks like Iraq is getting close to possessing that public good.

2 thoughts on “The Benefits of Ethnological Reboot”

  1. This was a sweet article. In the past I thought that Sadr had to get stronger to take on the rogue Mahdi, and the only way this could happen was if we pulled out and gave into his rhetoric about occupation. It’s the opposite though – Sadr has to get weaker before he gets stronger – and in the mean time, we take out the bad guys and gain legitimacy with the population. Its a win-win for both us and him, and shows that maybe our 5GW Army can pull it off after all.

    It was also stunning that the Washington Post came out with an op-ed that unambiguously said things were getting better. A week straight out of the twilight zone…

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