You Better Pay Off the Sons of Iraq!
Mohammed Hafez of the Naval Postgraduate School takes a look at how Al Qaeda in Iraq could mount a comeback.
The short answer: If the U.S. doesn’t broker a formidable deal between the Sons of Iraq — the 100,000 mostly Sunni ex-insurgents currently paid by the U.S. to be a pro-U.S. militia — and the Shiite-controlled Iraqi government, which hates them.
“That could be a gamechanger,” Hafez says.
Already, Al Qaeda in Iraq is putting out the line that the U.S. will betray the Sons of Iraq. Unless the U.S. figures out how to get the Shiites to embrace them — easier said than done, obviously — it’ll play right into AQI’s hands.
Once again, sectarianism cuts against the U.S.’s counterterrorism goals.