The Anbar Awakening
- From: Dave U. Random <anonymous@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2010 17:11:52 +0200 (CEST)
(Wall Street Journal) - On Sept. 11, 2006, exactly five years after
9/11, the Washington Post divulged a classified U.S. intelligence
report under the headline, "Anbar Is Lost Politically, Marine
Analyst Says." According to an anonymous American source, the
report said that "we haven't been defeated militarily but we have
been defeated politically ? and that's where wars are won and lost."
It is true that the situation in Anbar Province, a hotbed of Sunni
Muslim resistance in western Iraq, was dire at the time. Three
years earlier the Americans had arrived intent on winning over the
population through democratic governance and economic development.
But most local civilians ? out of support for Sunni insurgents or
fear of them ? had rejected U.S. requests to serve in the
government or participate in development projects. American units
ended up spending most of their time battling swarms of guerrillas.
In "A Chance in Hell" (Amazon: http://xrl.us/ChanceHell ), Jim
Michaels, a military reporter for USA Today, deftly explains how
the so-called Anbar Awakening emerged from this seemingly hopeless
set of circumstances, saving the troubled province and the rest of
Sunni Iraq. Whereas many accounts of the Awakening have portrayed
it as an American creation, Mr. Michaels shows that it was largely
the handiwork of Iraqis, particularly a local leader named Abdul
Sattar Abu Risha...
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