Analysis: Gauging the Iraq Surge
Council on Foreign Relations
March 26, 2007
Prepared by: Lionel Beehner
The surge also consists of roughly thirty joint U.S.-Iraqi security bases scattered throughout Baghdad to allow U.S. and Iraqi forces greater round-the-clock access to insecure neighborhoods, writes Monte Morin in Stars & Stripes. Markets in the capital are closed to daytime vehicle traffic. The result has been a drop in civilian casualties (WashPost), Pentagon officials say. Previously deserted neighborhoods, such as the Karada district in eastern Baghdad, have returned to life. Shiite slums like Sadr City have been temporarily cleared of militias. And the Shiite Mahdi Army, while not exactly neutered, has been quieter as of late and lying low, perhaps waiting out the surge to fight another day. Policymakers from Iraq and its six neighbors met in Istanbul March 21-23 and released the 36-point "Marmara Declaration" (PDF) outlining further steps, beyond a simple troop surge, needed to stabilize Iraq.
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