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Iraq: Eye of the Hurricane?

McClatchy (as usual):

In America, the U.S. "surge" of additional troops to Baghdad is heralded as a success, and President Barack Obama has said he'll draw down American forces in Iraq and turn his attention to Afghanistan and Pakistan. In Iraq, however, what the U.S.-led invasion and occupation started is far from over.

Most Iraqis think that today's lower level of violence is the eye, not the end, of the storm, and that the decisive power struggles are just beginning. The U.S.-backed Iraqi government is widely regarded as an undeserving group of exiles who returned to Iraq on the backs of American tanks.

Over the weekend, fighting broke out between Sunni Muslims and Iraq's Shiite Muslim-led security forces, and it's unclear whether the security forces, still heavily backed by U.S. air and ground support, are loyal to their nation rather than their sect, tribe, town or ethnicity.

So, if the (relative, perceived) calm now is that we're in the eye of the storm, then we can expect the violence to ratchet up again, in the coming year.

Let's just hope we can bribe our way out.

I mean, the whole concept of steadily drawing down troops depends on the perception of stability, does it not?

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