The issue of the war in Iraq seemed to have disappeared from the campaign trail in recent weeks and months, with some declaring that the so-called surged has worked, others stating the war has ended, and the major news networks simply ignoring the war. Proponents of the war and the surge frequently cite the military progress that has been accomplished but ignore the lack of political reconciliation that the surge was ostensibly created to fix. But according to Spencer Ackerman at the new Washington Independent, even those security gains now seem at risk:
Iraq security statistics over the past 13 weeks, obtained exclusively by The Washington Independent, tell the tale. In Baghdad, improvised-explosive device (IED) detonations explosions in Baghdad have ticked up slightly to 131 in January from 129 in Decemberâ€”and the last week of January is not included in these latest figures. Countrywide, there was an increase in IED explosions to 2,291 in December from 1,394 in November, followed by a dip to 1,270 in the first three weeks of January. But the week ending on January 25 saw seven suicide explosions Iraq-wide, the most since the week ending Dec. 21, 2007.
It is too early to conclude that the security gains of the surge are unwinding. But theyâ€™re being put under stress in a manner not seen since the so-called “Surge of Operations” began in mid-June. Some speculate that the insurgency, knocked on its heels by the changing tactics of U.S. forces in mid-2007, is beginning to adjust, a few months before the surge draws to a close. “I think thereâ€™s some credibility to that argument,” said Brian Katulis, a national-security expert at the liberal Center for American Progress. “It all begs the question of whatâ€™s the grand endgame.”
Meanwhile, John McCain wants 100 more years in Iraq and is already looking forward to our next war.