2006-11-02

US-Milit�r gibt Irak so gut wie verloren

--- Das wars dann wohl endg�ltig mit dem Traum der erzwungenen Demokratisierung des Irak: Die New York Times hat mal wieder ein brisantes Dokument ausgegraben:
A classified briefing prepared two weeks ago by the United States Central Command portrays Iraq as edging toward chaos, in a chart that the military is using as a barometer of civil conflict. A one-page slide shown at the Oct. 18 briefing provides a rare glimpse into how the military command that oversees the war is trying to track its trajectory, particularly in terms of sectarian fighting. The slide includes a color-coded bar chart that is used to illustrate an �Index of Civil Conflict.� It shows a sharp escalation in sectarian violence since the bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra in February, and tracks a further worsening this month despite a concerted American push to tamp down the violence in Baghdad. In fashioning the index, the military is weighing factors like the ineffectual Iraqi police and the dwindling influence of moderate religious and political figures, rather than more traditional military measures such as the enemy�s fighting strength and the control of territory. The conclusions the Central Command has drawn from these trends are not encouraging, according to a copy of the slide that was obtained by The New York Times. The slide shows Iraq as moving sharply away from �peace,� an ideal on the far left side of the chart, to a point much closer to the right side of the spectrum, a red zone marked �chaos.� As depicted in the command�s chart, the needle has been moving steadily toward the far right of the chart. An intelligence summary at the bottom of the slide reads �urban areas experiencing �ethnic cleansing� campaigns to consolidate control� and �violence at all-time high, spreading geographically.� According to a Central Command official, the index on civil strife has been a staple of internal command briefings for most of this year. The analysis was prepared by the command�s intelligence directorate, which is overseen by Brig. Gen. John M. Custer. Gen. John P. Abizaid, who heads the command, warned publicly in August about the risk of civil war in Iraq, but he said then that he thought it could be averted. In evaluating the prospects for all-out civil strife, the command concentrates on �key reads,� or several principal variables. According to the slide from the Oct. 18 briefing, the variables include �hostile rhetoric� by political and religious leaders, which can be measured by listening to sermons at mosques and to important Shiite and Sunni leaders, and the amount of influence that moderate political and religious figures have over the population. The other main variables are assassinations and other especially provocative sectarian attacks, as well as �spontaneous mass civil conflict.�
Siehe auch die aktuellen Entwicklungen in Sadr City.

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