Words of Wisdom about the Ongoing Disaster in Iraq

MiamiDavid Patraeus, once known for efforts to pacify the Sunni Muslim community in Iraq but later known for a dumb scandal involving passing secrets to a lover, had some wise thoughts on Iraq.


Basically, that beating the Islamic State, which has become the vanguard of a Sunni insurgency against the Baghdad government, needs a political not a military solution.

Of course, you hear of neither from the Shiite-dominated government, which is relying on ad hoc sectarian militias, some beholden to Iran, to roust the Islamic State from Sunni towns in central and western Iraq. These militias are proving once again to be terror gangs, making reconciliation with the Sunnis all but impossible.

Petraeus was commander of the 2007 “surge” of US forces in Iraq, which with Sunni tribal help, was able to subdue an al-Qaeda linked insurgent grouping. Even before then, he was an advocate of incorporating Sunnis into Iraqi political life and to integrate them into the army and security services. Failure to do that–along with Bush and Obama Administration inattention to that problem, laid the groundwork for the new and vigorous rebellion.

Here are Petraeus’ comments to the BBC.

Obama in bed with the Shiites?

Human Rights Watch reported on  militia atrocities back in March,



Daniel Williams

Published by Daniel Williams

I am a former correspondent who, for more than 30 years, did time in China, Southeast Asia, Central America, Mexico, the Middle East, Europe and Africa and covered wars that went from episodic to non-stop. My book, "Forsaken," about Christian persecution in the Middle East came out January, 2016. NextWarNotes is a news and analysis blog designed to fill gaps, provide background and think about what’s next. The name of the site comes from a 1935 article by Ernest Hemingway in Esquire Magazine called “Notes on the Next War,” in which he predicted the coming conflagration in Europe, told why it would happen and warned Americans to stay out.

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