– GLIMPSE OF HOPE
Despite the military success in Iraq to reduce the level of violence from all kinds in the last year the future of Iraq remained fragile and gloom since there was no progress, in the highest political level, of reconciliation and power sharing between the powerful Sunni minority and the Shiaa majority. Since early 2007 the Sunni block in the Iraqi parliament boycotted Nuri al Maliki’s Shiaa-led government.
After Nuri al Maliki’s regime confronted consistently, although not always successfully, the pro Iranian “Mahdi Army” militia, led by the Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr, and proved that he intends to be the PM of all Iraqis and not an Iranian puppet the door for a sharing power deal with the Sunnites was opened.
Indeed on Saturday 07/19/2008 the main Sunni Muslim bloc in Iraq has rejoined the Iraqi regime and did a significant step toward Iraqi national reconciliation and stabilization of the political system in shattered Iraq.
The new development came just at the right time when USA is considering shifting the focus and efforts of the USA army in the “War on terror” from Iraq to Afghanistan and already began a slow process of reducing the number of troops in Iraq and increasing the number of USA fighting units in Afghanistan. It is most likely that the new political development in Iraq will boost the process of shifting focus to Afghanistan.
Both presidential candidate in USA Barack Obama and John McCain draws the same direction of strategy of shifting the focus from Iraq to Afghanistan. They are divided about whether there should be a time table to a complete withdrawal from Iraq, about the role of NATO in the joined NATO-ISAF force in Afghanistan, about the number of USA troops that should be sent to Afghanistan and about the policy toward Iran, which is involved in both arenas, but not on the basic understanding that the major scene in the war on terror is no longer Iraq but Afghanistan. See – Genuin dilemma .
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