How is it that we only begin to hear of the failed state in the past few weeks when the first days after the fall of Baghdad saw the first symptoms of state failure? Remember Don Rumsfeld’s cynical remark that “stuff happens” as looters emptied Baghdad’s museums of ancient artwork and artifacts?
Iraq on brink of becoming failed state: report
Wed Dec 20, 9:38 AM ET
By Ross Colvin
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Radical action is needed to save a “hollowed-out and fatally weakened” Iraqi state and ease violence that a new Pentagon report says is at an all-time high, a prominent think-tank warned on Tuesday.
The report by the Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) said an international effort was needed to prevent Iraq collapsing into a “failed and fragmented state” whose Shi’ite- Sunni Arab conflict could draw in its neighbors in a proxy war.
“Hollowed-out and fatally weakened, the Iraqi state today is prey to armed militias, sectarian forces and a political class that, by putting short-term personal benefit ahead of long term national interests, is complicit in Iraq’s tragic destruction.”
In a report on Monday, the Pentagon said the Mehdi Army militia of radical Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr had replaced al Qaeda as the “most dangerous accelerant of potentially self- sustaining sectarian violence in Iraq.”
While the statement came as little surprise to many Iraqis, especially minority Sunnis, it was the bluntest statement yet by the Pentagon on the militia. U.S. commanders in Iraq have previously been reluctant to blame the Mehdi Army by name.
Read it here.