Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Sign of Victory

The violence in Iraq is less focused on defeating the Iraqi government and replacing it with insurgent/terorrist leaders:

“This is not black and white here. It’s all shades of grey, and there’s a mixture of extremist elements and terror elements and criminal activity. It’s all of the above,” said Army Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, commander of Multinational Division Center and Task Force Marne, during a lunch with journalists.

In conversations with Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr. in 2006, when Lynch was a deputy commander for Multinational Force Iraq and Casey the commander, the two agreed that the biggest motivator for violence in Iraq is the question, “Who’s going to be in charge?”

“We came to the conclusion that the primary concern inside of Iraq was a struggle for power and influence. It’s naive to believe that all sorts of violence inside of Iraq is Sunni vs. Shiia or Shiia vs. Sunni; that’s just not true. And when you find intra-Shiia rivalry, it’s primarily a function of the struggle for power and influence,” Lynch said. “We see that a lot across our battlespace.”

The Shia fanatics supported by Iran are a threat that is increasingly active. On the bright side, as the non-jihadi Sunni Arabs defect to the government side, there will be more force on the side of the government to defeat this threat.

It may be frustrating to see yet another task to accomplish on the horizon, but this is just one more sign that we have been able to defeat the Sunni Arab threats (Baathist, nationalist, and jihadi) to the survival of the Iraqi government.

A successful surge does not end the war. But it is another milestone on the road to victory.