Thursday, September 9, 2010

you read it here first

Disclaimer: I am not an Iraq expert. I have no current knowledge about Iraq. But I have an intuition that the current political impasse will be ended by a military coup.

Over the years, when I have had contact with people knowledgeable about Iraq and its politics, I've asked about the role of the military and civil-military relations. Often I was told that the senior officers are frustrated with the politicians but feared the international community's response to any coup attempt.

The situation is changing, not least with the withdrawal of many US troops and the change of mission for those remaining. The situation is also changing because of the new senior American personnel, who are unlikely to be as close to Iraqi officers as their predecessors. Western reporters haven't written about this, probably because most of their contacts are civilian politicians and the military wouldn't speak to them anyway. Yet there are continuing security problems and the politicians are seen as dithering.

To me, this looks like a situation where even a reluctant military may want to intervene to end the stalemate and preserve order.

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