An Ugly Peace: What changed in Iraq

Nir Rosen. Boston Review, November/December 2009.


After the March 2008 Charge of the Knights, when Shias in Iraqi security forces began to fight Shia militias, there was no longer a Shia bloc. This opened up the possibility of cross-sectarian alliances between Shia and Sunni nationalists, all opposed to the occupation. Maliki’s decision to target unruly Shia militias was one of the most important factors ensuring the civil war territorial gains would hold, and the reduction in gang and militia violence would continue. Sunnis suddenly changed their minds about the Prime Minister and started supporting him.

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