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The Pentagon Has No More Plan B

It's not the outburst of sectarian murders or The Lancet's evaluation that 650,000 Iraqis have been killed since the beginning of the conflict that arouses this delayed dawning of awareness. It's the polls. According to Newsweek, two Americans out of three now deem that the United States is "losing ground" in Iraq, while highlighting the fact that the Republicans want to stay the course in Iraq has become the campaign argument for the Democrats.

The problem for the White House is that the generals it consulted have admitted that there is no longer any Plan B. According to them, securing Baghdad was the keystone for the new tactic the Pentagon defined several months ago. But the campaign to stop the violence in the Iraqi capital that was launched August 7 with the arrival of 12,000 additional troops has proved to be a punishing defeat. The number of attacks increased 22% during the first weeks of Ramadan, and 73 soldiers were killed, making October before it was over one of the deadliest months in three years. While Vice Prime Minister Barham Saleh demands that the United States and Great Britain "not give in to panic," ever more clear-cut dissensions are appearing between the American government and the Iraqi administration on points as important as amnesty for Sunni rebels, disarmament of the Shiite militia, and the possible partition of the country.

Sara Daniel

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About Sara Daniel

Portrait of Sara Daniel
Sara Daniel, a French journalist, war correspondent, expert on the Middle East.
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