Thursday, March 08, 2007

The surge: is it just squeezing the balloon?

The general in command of US troops in Iraq, David Petraeus, is due to give his first press conference later this morning. He has just been granted more than 2,000 extra military police to assist his operations. His spokesman has just been interviewed on the radio, and claims that there has been a 50% reduction in murders and executions since the beginning of the troop surge a month ago. A handful of families have returned home, and for the first time there is greater interaction between Baghdad's residents and the security forces - both Iraqi and American. He did concede however, that the clampdown in the capital may simply have displaced the violence to other cities - squeezing the balloon and not popping it.

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