Friday, June 15, 2007

On Monday morning the Sopranos final episode overshadowed news that U.S. forces in Iraq are collaborating with Sunni insurgents, arming those who have recently fought us. There is a big problem:
Americans officers acknowledge that providing weapons to breakaway rebel groups is not new in counterinsurgency warfare, and that in places where it has been tried before, including the French colonial war in Algeria, the British-led fight against insurgents in Malaya in the early 1950s, and in Vietnam, the effort often backfired, with weapons given to the rebels being turned against the forces providing them.
Despite this less-than-sparkling track record, the fact that we're willing to gamble on this arrangement -- potentially jeopardizing the lives of many U.S. soldiers -- is an indication of just how bad things have devolved in Iraq. Now we are just rolling the dice and keeping our fingers crossed.

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