Has the situation in Iraq deteriorated into a civil war? there is much debate out there on this with some saying yes and some saying not yet.
My prognoses is that it is civil war. In the three years since the allies invaded and overthrew Saddam Hussein and his government, the situation has changed. Three years ago when the allies originally arrived most attacks were against the allies and not against Iraqis. Now the situation has changed and the attacks are not primarily against the allies, but against different groups in Iraq.
The Sumni's appear to have led many of the attacks It would be logical for them to be a group attacking the government in Iraq and trying to change the government structure. Under Hussein they ruled the country although being a minority. Now with an attempt at a democracy they are no longer ruling, but stuck in minority status and they fear payback for the years Hussein ruled.
The Shiites now appear to be attacking back trying to defend themselves against the Sumnis. They and the Kurds were forced to live under the Sumnis for years.
So we basically have the Shiites and Sumnis fighting each other and the Kurds being a smaller member in it, but trig to get independence for their section. By my understanding of civil war, clearly this is civil war as two (maybe three) groups are fighting each other to gain control of their country.
If you are waiting for major battles between armies you may be greatly disappointed as this civil war is taking an approach the Americans should well know how is fought. We watched the Viet Cong use this guerilla approach and ultimately secure Vietnam. however it should not have been a strange approach to the Americans as it is also basically the approach used in the American Revolutionary War. The Americans consistently used guerilla tactics to attack and bug the British who expected the Americans to line up on battle field and two armies charge each other European style. However the Americans disappointed the British, the Viet Cong disappointed the Americans and the Iraqis are disappointing the allies.
It becomes a much more difficult war to fight when your enemy appears as civilians and you have the problem of killing only soldiers and not civilians as Americans and world exp[ect today.
The secret to ending the warfare is finding someway that all four groups can recognize their and other's needs and find a solution to work together. the new government is an attempt at this as its security gets stronger Iraq can move to just three groups and hopefully find a solution, rather than go path of Balkans and Somalia. By a small group ruling for years and holding the other two groups down so tightly, this situation would have probably developed rather Hussein died natural death, was over throw by Iraqis and removed by outside forces. Interesting the last case is that it does not appeard to have united people in celebration of end of Hussein regime or in opposition to allies.
If the allies were to exit immediately, I suspect with a year or less there would be cries for the same group to go back in and restore order just as there are many wanting US in Somalia to restore order (sometimes not calling for US byt UN troops, but look and see who supplies most UN troops). So we might as well continue our best in training the security forces as we gradually begin coming home.
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