Why is Iraq a battlefield?

10 Sep

US commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, will “brief the US congress on the efficacy of the troop surge today.” While he is likely to toe the Bush line that the troop surge is working; Al Jazeera’s reports: Iraq ‘a new Somalia’ by Adla Massoud in New York; and Iraq’s many armies by Hoda Abdel Hamid paints a different picture.

Iraq ‘A New Somalia’ reported that experts believe an independent Kurdistan will be formed if the Americans leave and that the continuing conflicts between the Sunni and Shia “have failed because each has very radically different views on the political and religious composition of Iraq that could never be papered over by “so-called benchmarks”.

Iraq Many Armies dissects the growing military conflict by examining the various armies present in the country. The report has categorized them into the Sunni armed groups – an alliance of Iraqi nationalists, Islamists, former Iraqi army officers and a few Baathists which is becoming more popular among the Sunnis and seen as a legitimate resistance protecting civilians against the foreign troops and Shia militia death squads; the Shia militias – They include the Mahdi Army loyal to Muqtada al Sadr with an estimated strength of 60,000 men. They are rivals to the Badr organisation, the military wing of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council; Iraq’s security force – Iraqis trained by the US military; the US Army; and Al Qaeda.

With so many different military troops on the ground, an Iraqi government that is out of touch and incapable of restoring order, peace and some of the the most basic services to its people; Iraq has truly become a battlefield.


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