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No More Outreach to the Sunnis?

By munaeem     Dec 1, 2006 in Politics
The Bush administration is deliberating whether to abandon U.S. reconciliation efforts with Sunni insurgents and instead give priority to Shiites and Kurds, who won elections and now dominate the government, according to U.S. officials.
Via WaPo: U.S. Considers Ending Outreach to Insurgents
The Bush administration is deliberating whether to abandon U.S. reconciliation efforts with Sunni insurgents and instead give priority to Shiites and Kurds, who won elections and now dominate the government, according to U.S. officials.
The proposal, put forward by the State Department as part of a crash White House review of Iraq policy, follows an assessment that the ambitious U.S. outreach to Sunni dissidents has failed. U.S. officials are increasingly concerned that their reconciliation efforts may even have backfired, alienating the Shiite majority and leaving the United States vulnerable to having no allies in Iraq, according to sources familiar with the State Department proposal.
On the one hand, if the policy isn’t working, what are you going to do? However, is this tantamount to choosing sides? And if it is, what does that means in terms of the violence, the government and the territorial integrity of Iraq?
And this kind of thinking could be quite problematic:
Some insiders call the proposal the “80 percent” solution, a term that makes other parties to the White House policy review cringe. Sunni Arabs make up about 20 percent of Iraq’s 26 million people.
For one thing, we aren’t talking about just 20% of the territory. For another, we aren’t talking about a segregated population either. I am not sure how US policy can be thought of ignoring 20% of the population.
More about Iraq, Shia, Sunni, Insurgents