Sadrists Threaten to End Truce, Anbar Sunnis Threaten to Re-join Insurgency
Many Sadrists think that it's time to end the truce
From the Associated Press:
Iraq's Sadrists Seek to End Cease-Fire
Influential members of Muqtada al-Sadr's movement have urged the anti-U.S. Shiite cleric not to extend a cease-fire when it expires next month, officials said Monday, a move that could jeopardize recent security gains. But U.S. and Iraqi forces insisted they would continue to hunt down so-called rogue fighters who ignored the order. Al-Sadr's followers claim this is a pretext to crack down on their movement.
The maverick cleric has threatened not to renew the cease-fire unless the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki purges "criminal gangs'' operating within security forces he claims are targeting his followers. That was a reference to rival Shiite militiamen from the Badr Brigade who have infiltrated security forces participating in the ongoing crackdown against breakaway militia cells the U.S. has said were linked to Iran.
The truce has been directly responsible for a 2/3 drop in the number of killings in and around Baghdad, so we could see a return to chaos if the situation can't be resolved. Also, pro-American Sunni fighters in Anbar province are threatening to re-join the insurgency if their units aren't incorporated in to Iraq's security and defense forces.
Think things are better in Afghanistan? Think again:
Taliban wield the ax ahead of new battle
With the Taliban's spring offensive just months away, the Afghan front has been quiet as Taliban and al-Qaeda militants have been heavily engaged in fighting security forces in Pakistan's tribal regions. But now Taliban leader Mullah Omar has put his foot down and reset the goals for the Taliban: their primary task is the struggle in Afghanistan, not against the Pakistan state.
Lurch of Main and Central points out that American military officials say that they don't expect a major Taliban offensive, but in the past the Taliban has followed through on its threats in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, a new study by an American diplomatic and military team has concluded that Afghanistan is at risk of becoming a failed state. (More on Failed States)
(via appletree, cross posted at Liberal Avenger)