Monday, October 22, 2007

Petraeus Shiite Militias

Wow! This demonstrates that the surge has been successful and they're able to move on to other targets. This also demonstrates that even though America and our leaders in Congress are ready to raise the white flag, our military is able to do it's job.

Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker have concluded that Shiite extremists pose a rising threat to the U.S. effort in Iraq, as the relative influence of Sunni insurgent groups such as al-Qaeda in Iraq has diminished drastically because of ongoing U.S. operations.

This judgment forms part of the changes that Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, approved last week to their classified campaign strategy for the country, which covers the period through summer 2009. The updated plan anticipates shifting the U.S. military effort to focus more on countering Shiite militias -- some backed by Iran -- that have generated new violence as they battle for power in the south and elsewhere in Iraq, said senior military and diplomatic officials familiar with the plan.

"As the Sunni insurgents quit fighting us, the problems we have with criminality and other militia, many of them Shia, become relatively more important," said a U.S. Embassy official, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity because the plan is not finalized.


The campaign plan's recognition that Shiite extremists pose a relatively greater threat comes as rival Shiite militias have increased their attacks throughout southern Iraq in recent months, including the assassination of two provincial governors. A quarterly Pentagon report on Iraq released last month concluded that the instability in some southern provinces reflected the growing strength of the Mahdi Army, the militia of radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

Even so, officials said, the targeting of Shiite militias is far more sensitive for the Shiite-led Iraqi government than is the U.S. effort against the Sunni group al-Qaeda in Iraq. "When hitting on these militias, you are getting close to home for these Shia politicians . . . so it's a lot more delicate," said one military official.

When I saw that they were hit the Shiites I figured that Maliki wouldn't be too happy. I hope that they continue even if he tries to stop them.