Charlie has been working on a post on Concerned Local Citizens groups (or Awakening Councils) in Iraq for the better part of two days. Several requests for information earlier this fall piqued her interest, and there's been a spate of writing on the subject. Alas, cookie baking, last minute shopping, and her grandparents version of the Spanish Inquisition have kept coherent thougths at bay.
So until she can muster anything resembling cogent analysis, take a look at these articles and tell her what you think.
- Alyssa J Rubin & Damien Cave, "In a Force for Iraqi Calm, Seeds of Conflict" (NYT)
- Kevin Drum, "Sunni Awakening Update" (Washington Monthly)
- Reuters, "Iraqi Shi'ite leader wants US-backed units curbed"
- Jon Lee Anderson, "Inside the Surge" (New Yorker)
- Spencer Ackerman, "The Problem with Militias" (American Prospect)
Was this a target of opportunity? Classic counter-insurgency? A fit of wishful thinking by senior leaders in Baghdad? A deal with the devil? Or all of the above? Charlie promises her thoughts later this week.