The accelerating violence in Iraq will lead to the complete collapse of the Iraqi government by year end. The atrocities to come will make the Balkan Wars pale in comparison. This in turn will accelerate the separation of Iraq into three ethno-religious fiefdoms (Kurdistan in the North, Shi’astan in the South, Jihadistan in the central west). That process alone will involve a human tragedy of significant proportion.
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Without a government, the Iraqi security services and army will complete their transformation to sectarian militias. The US exit strategy of building local capacity to replace American units will collapse and its forces will find themselves just one more combatant force amongst what could be a six-way struggle. Remaining neutral in such a conflict is untenable as it holds no promise of success. Then wither US strategy? Will the US align with its traditional Sunni allies – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, and Turkey to prevent the rise of Iranian hegemony? Will the US indirectly fund radical Sunni jihadists in that effort? The last time the US planted that seed was in Afghanistan and the eventual fruit of that policy was the rise of the Taliban and 911.
Hang on this train is just starting to pick up speed!
December 3, 2006