One major cause of the reduction in casualty rates among American soldiers is that we succeeded in convincing a substantial swathe of the Sunni insurgency to stop attacking U.S. troops and instead start taking money from U.S. troops. That turnabout, however, never really convinced the now-former insurgents to reconcile themselves to Shiite majority rule. And at the same time, the Shiite government viewed the new U.S.-sponsored Sunni militia groups with considerable suspicion. Back, say, nine months ago I was pretty certain this situation was due for an imminent collapse. Clearly, it didn’t happen that way and General Petraeus’ new strategy held together. Consequently, the whole underlying issue here has kind of fallen out of view.
But now Richard Oppel reports for The New York Times that things are changing and the Iraqi government, feeling newly confident, is in the midst of a crackdown with senior leaders of the awakening movement getting arrested.