More bad news from Iraq

Not just Najaf: the area around Fallujah is in the hands of anti-American forces.

Anbar province, incuding the city of Fallujah, is substantially in the hand of Sunni fundamentalist militants with ties to al-Qaeda. The ex-Ba’athists we hastily recruited as local rulers after the Fallujah disaster have either been killed by the insurgents or sold out to them. The “Fallujah Brigade” of Iraqis is almost totally ineffective. If an election is held in January, some cities and regions probably won’t be able to vote.

Is the peace irrevocably lost? I’m not sure, but it looks that way. The people who were against this adventure from the beginning (a group that does not, of course, include the undersigned) are looking smarter and smarter. And the argument that leaving the current team in control for another four years is a tolerable gamble is looking weaker and weaker.

Either the bad result that seems to be developing was inevitable, in which case the war shouldn’t have been fought, in which case the people who decided to fight that war need to be replaced, or it was avoidable, in which case the people who failed to avoid it need to be replaced.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

2 thoughts on “More bad news from Iraq”

  1. Trying to at least understand your opponents

    To some extend this follows up the comments of Sean La Freniere on my post on wishful thinking. Mark Kleiman shows what I consider the rigth way to blog.

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