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Over There

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"Over There"

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53 killed in Baghdad bombings. I should say that no matter how badly U.S. tactics in Iraq fail, I don’t think you’ll ever see violence levels return to where they were at the late-06/early-07 peak when you had a lot of sectarian massacres. At this point, given the number of people who are already either dead or else displaced to somewhere safer than where they were before, things aren’t going to get that bad again.

But that’s essentially irrelevant to the main question we spent 2003, 2004, and 2005 debating — namely whether or not it’s in the capacity of 100,000+ U.S. Army and Marine Corps members to effectively bring an end to Iraqi political conflicts. The answer continues to appear to be no. Similarly, there’s really nothing we can do to stop sporadic bombing attacks. It’s not, after all, that you look at Italy and say “man, there’s a country where they have great tactics to prevent suicide bombings — Iraq should really implement those.” Rather, you don’t see suicide bombing where you don’t see would-be suicide bombers and that’s not the kind of outcome a foreign military force can produce in Iraq. So things will probably get worse again, but not as bad as they were at the very worst times.

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