"a series of local political deals has displaced extremists, resulting in a
major improvement in security at the local level, and the national government is
jumping on board with the program. Instead of coalition-led top-down
reconciliation, this is Iraqi-led, bottom-up, based on civil society rather than
I have two questions regarding this passage.
First - how has the national government jumped on board with these local political deals? From what I have read, the national government does not like these tactical alliances between mostly Sunni tribes and the Coalition because (as you acknowledge elsewhere in this piece) the Shia government thinks the Sunni tribes will use this brief peace as "breathing space" not for political reconciliation, but to prepare to fight the national government which many Sunnis see as a tool of Iran.
My second question is, where's the evidence of reconciliation? From what I have read, the Sunni tribes have a tactical alliance with the Coalition to kill AQI. There is no reconciliation or forgiveness involved - simply short-term self-interest that some (Tony Cordesman) think could disappear in a few months.
The Anbar Awakening
LtC (retired) Dr. David Kilcullen has a new post up at the Small Wars Journal blog. It is very long, but worth reading as the thoughts of one of General Petraeus' inner circle. I posted a comment: