Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," Tim Russert questioned National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, and cited this N.Y. Times article about Iraq. Russert asked Hadley whether the U.S. "continue[s] to be a crutch for the Iraqis."
This was Hadley's response:
"That is a concern. One of the things that’s different, I think, from, from that time is that we do have this unity government.Yes, the Maliki regime has a plan. As the Times article explained:
"... They are getting enormous pressure from their people to get the violence down, and that means, really, sectarian violence centered in Baghdad. They’re responding to that pressure. They’ve come forward with a plan. They have made clear that they’re going to increase their forces. They’re committed to success, but they need our help to succeed."
Within hours of Mr. Bush’s speech, American commanders were meeting with their Iraqi counterparts in Baghdad to work out the details of a new command arrangement that would give Mr. Maliki a direct role in overseeing the new crackdown. The Iraqis named a commander for the operation, Lt. Gen. Aboud Gambar, a Shiite from southern Iraq ...In other words, even as the Bush administration prepares to send tens of thousands of additional troops to Iraq, the Maliki regime intends to continue operating in a way that marginalizes Sunnis.
General Gambar will report directly to Mr. Maliki, outside the chain of command that runs through the Defense Ministry, which the Maliki government has long viewed as a bastion of American influence, and, because the defense minister is a Sunni, of resistance to Shiite control.
Of course, by operating this way, the Maliki regime is likely to fuel the ongoing sectarian violence.
Is this the plan Hadley wants us to feel confident about?