Brewing Instability

Steve Simon has a great article in Foreign Affairs putting things like the “awakening” strategy in a proper historical and strategic context, arguing that rather than a success in a state-building mission in Iraq we’re bolstering the centripetal forces that are tearing the country apart: “The problem is that this strategy to reduce violence is not linked to any sustainable plan for building a viable Iraqi state. If anything, it has made such an outcome less likely, by stoking the revanchist fantasies of Sunni Arab tribes and pitting them against the central government and against one another. In other words, the recent short-term gains have come at the expense of the long-term goal of a stable, unitary Iraq.”