Is Bush Right?

Whatever critics at home and abroad may think, the “surge” that President Bush is planning for Iraq is more than a troop increase; it is a new and high-risk regional strategy. True, Bush’s plan will prove far too little and comes far too late to stabilize Iraq. But it does offer the United States some longer-term benefits in the regional battle with Iran for influence.

At the heart of the new strategy is Bush’s decision to take the fight directly to Iraq’s most powerful militia, the Mahdi Army. Under the nominal control of the militant cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, the group has become Iraq’s largest and best-armed fighting force and is pursuing its own political and security agenda.

The Mahdi Army has exchanged fire with US troops before, most notably during the fierce battles for control of the southern Iraqi cities of Najaf and Karbala in 2004. Those confrontations ended with a truce of sorts – though skirmishes have continued – because US forces have been reluctant to fight Sunni insurgents and Shi’a militiamen at the same time.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/QEY25OH;
  1. China corruption Isaac Lawrence/Getty Images

    The Next Battle in China’s War on Corruption

    • Chinese President Xi Jinping knows well the threat that corruption poses to the authority of the Communist Party of China and the state it controls. 
    • But moving beyond Xi's anti-corruption purge to build robust and lasting anti-graft institutions will not be easy, owing to enduring opportunities for bureaucratic capture.
  2. Italy unemployed demonstration SalvatoreEsposito/Barcroftimages / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

    Putting Europe’s Long-Term Unemployed Back to Work

    Across the European Union, millions of people who are willing and able to work have been unemployed for a year or longer, at great cost to social cohesion and political stability. If the EU is serious about stopping the rise of populism, it will need to do more to ensure that labor markets are working for everyone.

  3. Latin America market Federico Parra/Getty Images

    A Belt and Road for the Americas?

    In a time of global uncertainty, a vision of “made in the Americas” prosperity provides a unifying agenda for the continent. If implemented, the US could reassert its historical leadership among a group of countries that share its fundamental values, as well as an interest in inclusive economic growth and rising living standards.

  4. Startup office Mladlen Antonov/Getty Images

    How Best to Promote Research and Development

    Clearly, there is something appealing about a start-up-based innovation strategy: it feels democratic, accessible, and so California. But it is definitely not the only way to boost research and development, or even the main way, and it is certainly not the way most major innovations in the US came about during the twentieth century.

  5. Trump Trade speech Bill Pugliano/Getty Images .

    Preparing for the Trump Trade Wars

    In the first 11 months of his presidency, Donald Trump has failed to back up his words – or tweets – with action on a variety of fronts. But the rest of the world's governments, and particularly those in Asia and Europe, would be mistaken to assume that he won't follow through on his promised "America First" trade agenda.