" "It would be a mess,"
As if Iraq is not a mess already --- the relevant question is whether or not the 160,000 US troops currently in Iraq are able to do anything besides potentially slow down the rate of descent into chaos, not whether or not there is a chance of reversing the tide of chaos and disorder.
The Washington Post is reporting that the insurgencies and militias in Iraq have reacted to the US surge of five brigades into central Iraq in an entirely predictable manner --- they avoided confrontation, displaced, and carried on with the same pace of attacks against US forces, Iraqi government targets, and each other.
Sectarian killings and attacks -- which were spiraling late last year -- dropped sharply from February to April, but civilian casualties rose slightly, to more than 100 a day. Despite the early drop in sectarian killings, data from the Baghdad morgue gathered by The Washington Post in May show them returning to pre-"surge" levels last month.
Suicide attacks more than doubled across Iraq -- from 26 in January to 58 in April -- said the report, which covers the three months from mid-February to mid-May.
Violence fell in Baghdad and Anbar province, where the bulk of the 28,700 more U.S. troops are located, but escalated elsewhere as insurgents and militias regroup in eastern and northern Iraq. In Anbar, attacks dropped by about a third, compared with the previous three months, as Sunni tribes have organized against entrenched fighters from al-Qaeda in Iraq, the report said.
Overall, however, violence "has increased in most provinces, particularly in the outlying areas of Baghdad province and Diyala and Ninewa provinces," the report said. In Diyala's restive capital of Baqubah, U.S. and Iraq forces "have been unable to diminish rising sectarian violence contributing to the volatile security situation," it said.
Any good news from last month concerning the drop in civilian casualties will be an aberration due to today's attack against the Shi'ite Turkomen village of Emerli. We know that the Turkish government sees themselves as the protector of the Iraqi Turkomen minority, and this attack increases the internal pressure for the Turkish Army to do something beyond their already announced plan to establish a security buffer zone and pick a fight with the PKK and other Kurdish groups on Iraqi soil.
So again, how is this currently not a mess?