The 21st Century Phenomenon



General David Petraeus’s security plan for Iraq, from 02/2007, contained a program to negotiate with local tribes in the different districts of Iraq in order to pull them out from the cycle of fighting. 

The Program was considered a success as many Sunni tribes switched sides and, for all variety of reasons, fought alongside US against Al Qaeda. Many dozens “ Awakening Council of….” (About 130 different militias), which were nothing alse but tribal based militias, emerged in the Sunnite regions of Iraq. In fact those militias contradict the USA benchmark for Iraqi government to dismantle Iraqi militias, the perception of Iraqi sovereignty with one government, one law and one weapon and the basic fundaments of democracy. (See – IRAQ’S conglomerate )

It was obvious that the Iraqi tribes can switch sides as easily as they did before and their alliance with USA is a marriage of temporary convenience. The Sunni tribes were not seeking confrontation with Al Qaeda but American support against the Shiite militias supported by Iran. When the “Awakening Councils” began to control, condition and dictate the police and military operations in their vicinities, they began to endanger the Iraq sovereignty and pushed Iraq to an even greater disintegration.  Recently, especially in Diyala province, just North East of Baghdad, “Awakening Councils” took upon themselves the authority to dictate the police who should be arrested or released, who will be the local police chief and who will be nominated as its officers.

Naturally USA is obliged to support the official Iraqi regime against their supported allies – the “Awakening Councils”.

In the last weeks there are increasing question marks whether those “Awakening Councils” are still allies to USA army or they switched sides again with Al Qaeda against Americans.

Some of the “Awakening Councils” fighters refused to continue the regular patrolling of their villages and towns. A certain Abu Abdullah, a spokesman for Diyala’s Awakening Council, announced, after the deadline to replace the local police chief passed: “We hereby declare suspension of all co-operation with both US military, Iraqi security forces and the local government”.

USA army also suspects that some of the road bombs in the last week, which exploded in Baghdad and Tamim province and killed 4 American soldiers, were not placed by Al Qaeda but possibly by other factions, hinting to the local “Awakening Councils”.

As it was mentioned several times in Iraq any success is short lived without a fundamental political progress and change.


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