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Former Iraqi PM Says 'the Surge' Ain't So Great

"Now, militarily, the surge has achieved some of its goals. Politically, I don't think so."
 
 
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When it comes to Iraq, the surge is a great success, right? Well, according to Ayad Allawi, Iraq's former prime minister, that depends on what you mean by "success".

In a briefing before members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs yesterday, Allawi answered questions from members of the subcommittee on international organizations, human rights, and oversight. When asked by Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., the subcommittee's ranking member, for Allawi's "assessment of of what's come of the surge," Allawi all but said, not much.

Reminding Rohrabacher that the original objective of the surge was to create a safe environment for a process of national reconciliation, Allawi said, "Now, militarily, the surge has achieved some of its goals. Politically, I don't think so."

Allawi rattled off a laundry list of perils that still confront the Iraqi people: internal displacement of large numbers of people, millions of refugees outside Iraq, security forces he described as sectarian militias dressed in national uniforms and no regime for enforcement of the national constitution, which he described as a "divisive" document.

The former prime minister, who is now a member of the Iraqi parliament, also alleged that the process known as "deBaathification" is "being used to punish people." Originally designed to purge Saddam Hussein's loyalists from military and security forces, Allawi said the process has become politicized and can be used against virtually anybody, since Saddam Hussein's "Baath party ruled for 35 years, and every individual had to join..."