More tension: Longer in Messopotamia than World War II

US involved for longer time in Iraq than in World War II. Daily Kos: A Look at the CIA vs. the Administration.

A bloody day in Baghdad raises fears of all-out civil war. Sadrist Health Ministry attack "Carried Out With American Blessing" - Nasser al-Sa'edi?? Wash The Roads In Blood:

People act as if it is all Shia against all Sunnis against all Kurds. It isn't, and it never has been. The Health Ministry is under Sadrist control, inside the green zone, and cannot be reached by large numbers without going through checkpoints. Add to that that Sadr city is policed by the Sadr army - but those men aren't allowed to check for bombs, and the Baghdad anti-explosives unit has no explosives detection equipment. Sadr now has his causus belli against the Green Zone government. The bloodshed you saw before, is nothing compared to what will happen now.

The Sadr army is half out of control anyway. In a situation like this al Sadr has two choices - he can forbid retaliation, and then watch as it happens anyway, or he can sanction it in an attempt to ride the tiger.

Nato goals reduced as Afghan woes grow By Daniel Dombey and Stephen Fidler in London

Published: November 23 2006 22:02 | Last updated: November 23 2006 22:02

Nato’s difficulties in Afghanistan have forced the alliance to scale down its ambitions for a showpiece summit next week and raised questions about its ability to get to grips with the insurgency in the country.

The summit in Riga, Latvia, was intended to focus on the 26-nation alliance’s “transformation” into a 21st century political and military organisation, with more deployable forces and global reach.

A classified document obtained by the Financial Times, and due to be endorsed by leaders, maps out new ambitions for the next 15 years, including development of the ability to carry out more than one big operation at once.

But the meeting will now be overshadowed by Afghanistan, where more than 30,000 troops are under Nato command. It is Nato’s biggest mission and the first in which it has been involved in ground conflict.

Tony Blair, British prime minister, said this week that “the future in the early 21st century of the world” was at stake in the conflict in Afghanistan. But in spite of appeals to Nato solidarity and months of US-UK efforts to persuade more countries to send troops to the country’s turbulent south, Nato officials say the Riga summit is highly unlikely to provide a big new commitment.

US hawk judges ‘war on terror’ a mistake.

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