Can the Iraqis take full responsiblity for their security?

Fresh fighting has erupted in the southern Iraqi city of Basra and elsewhere, as Iraqi security forces battle Shia militants for a second day.

Unrest in Basra has been stoked by a variety of militias and criminal gangs. Iraq‘s Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has given Shia militants in the southern city of Basra 72 hours to lay down their arms or face “severe penalties”.

Iraq is still far from taking control of its security as long as there are heavily armed militias like that Sadr Militia. Iraq can’t continue under the protection of foreign forces which so far have failed to bring full stability to the country.

It’s up to the Iraqis to solve their problems among themselves through national reconciliation and without any interference from other countries, especially, the USA and Iran. foreign alliances will just perpetuate the current violence and instability.

Iraq also needs a national army made up of all sections of its population, mainly Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis. It also needs friendly neighbors. As now it is surrounded by Iran and Syria the greatest enemies of the USA in the region, Iraq will have to keep vigilant as its close alliance with the USA will make it constantly on the alert. Iran will continue to use the Shiites opposed to the presence of the USA in Iraq to create political havocs in it.

On the whole, the Iraqis must choose between making their country a land of peace or simply a battleground in which they sacrifice just their own countrymen, among whom the number of deaths has reached hundreds of thousands since the US invasion in 2003.

US troops will surely continue to operate in the country. For the US having Iraq under its protection is meant to keep control of the whole of the Middle Est. There is no prospect of the diffusion of tensions in the regions in which the US has long term interests. US military presence in Iraq as in the other Gulf States will continue for years, perhaps until the region dries up of its oil sources and countries like Iran are no longer considered as a major security threat.

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