Bending the Third Rail
Because We Should, We Can, We Do
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Already Underway
The Kagan plan is apparently already underway?:
The deaths of three more US troops at the hands of Sunni Arab guerrillas were announced on Monday.

Iraq violence is at an all-time high since the US "turned over sovereignty" to an Iraqi government June 28, 2004. USA Today writes, "The Pentagon says injuries and deaths among U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq rose 32% during the period from mid-August to mid-October over the previous three months. Both the average number of attacks each week and the average number of people killed or wounded in those attacks were at their highest levels since the United States handed over power to the Iraqi government in June 2004."

What the report does not say is that this period coincides with a major US military operation, "Together Forward" intended to restore security in the capital, involving sweeps of Sunni Arab and some Shiite neighborhoods. That is to say, the operation not only did not make things better, things got worse during it. The military beefed up the US troop contingent in Baghdad significantly for the operation, including moving 3,700 troops down from Mosul. It is this sort of thing that convinces me that an extra 20,000 troops for Iraq is not going to make a difference.
Meanwhile, this is a story that gets crowded out of the Iraq news because on relative scale, this isn't so bad:
Tensions are running high in eastern Turkey where the Kurds predominate, given renewed militancy by the Kurdish Workers Party, PKK. The PKK is being given safe haven by Iraqi Kurds, and if Iraq breaks up it could throw the whole region into war.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan warned that a break-up of Iraq "would increase the level of civil war."
You can be sure that the Kurdish/Turkey conflict can easily grow into a real problem in a flash.