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'L.A. Times' Baghdad Chief: Surge Not Working

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

'L.A. Times' Baghdad Chief: Surge Not Working

Article excerpt

With anticipation building for next week's "surge" report from General David Petraeus, major newspapers and news services have started weighing in with their own assessments. For the most part, they have been quite skeptical of significant advances. Making a major contribution today is a lengthy "dispiriting" report from Tina Susman, Baghdad bureau chief of the Los Angeles Times.

Here account opens: "The U.S. military buildup that was supposed to calm Baghdad and other trouble spots has failed to usher in national reconciliation, as the capital's neighborhoods rupture even further along sectarian lines, violence shifts elsewhere and Iraq's government remains mired in political infighting.

"In the coming days, U.S. military and government leaders will offer Congress their assessment of the 6-month-old plan's results. But a review of statistics on death and displacement, political developments and the impressions of Iraqis who are living under the heightened military presence reaches a dispiriting conclusion.

"Despite the plan, which has brought an additional 28,500 U.S. troops to Iraq since February, none of the major legislation that Washington had expected the Iraqi parliament to pass into law has been approved.

"The number of Iraqis fleeing their homes has increased, not decreased, according to the United Nations' International Organization for Migration and Iraq's Ministry for Displacement and Migration.

"Military officials say sectarian killings in Baghdad are down more than 51% and attacks on civilians and security forces across Iraq have decreased. …

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