A van carrying Shia pilgrims marking Ashura came under attack on Tuesday, a day after bloody attacks killed over 40 people in the war-torn country.
A day earlier, mortar shells struck the courtyard of a girls' school in a mostly Sunni Arab neighborhood of Baghdad, killing five pupils and wounding 20 others.
As described many analysts and war critics, civil strife is one challenge created by and threatening the American troops who're now struggling to root out what they call insurgents.
On the other hand, tension between the United States and Iran rose sharply after the American President George W. Bush warned the Islamic Republic that America would respond "firmly" if Tehran refused to stop or intensified its alleged support to insurgency in Iraq, an accusation repeatedly denied by Iran.
Last year, a report titled "Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States,'' that was prepared by 16 U.S. spy agencies, the first formal appraisal of global terrorism by the U.S. intelligence agencies since the Iraq war began, found that international terrorism rather than being in retreat, has metastasized and spread across the globe.
The report said that "Iraq war has made the overall terrorism problem worse".
Today, another report warned the U.S. of the dire consequences of the conflict it began in Iraq.
A study by the Brookings Institution, based partly on the assumption that Bush's troop surge plan fails to bring an end to the spiraling violence in Iraq – as well as the fact that the U.S. forces cannot pack and leave, running way from the growing disaster unleashed by the President's decision to invade the country in the first place, warned that the U.S. must draw up plans to deal with a bloody civil war in Iraq that would kill hundreds of thousands, create millions of refugees, and spread to swallow the entire Middle East region, resulting to a bigger catastrophe, that would lead to disruption of oil supplies and setting up a direct confrontation between the U.S. and Iran.
The Independent quoted Kenneth Pollack, one of the report's authors, as saying that even extending the U.S. military presence in the war-torn country "would consign Iraqis to a terrible fate. Even if it works, we will have failed to provide the Iraqis with the better future we promised."
However, the central recommendation of the study by the Brookings Institution, a center-left think tank, based in Washington D.C., was that the American forces begin withdrawing from Iraqi cities.
According to the study, which referred to civil wars in Lebanon, the former Yugoslavia, Congo and Afghanistan, withdrawing from Iraq is "the only rational course of action, horrific though it will be", as Bush's admin has refocused its efforts from preventing civil war to containing its effects.
Like "Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States'' report, Brookings study also warned of radicalisation and the possible secession movements in neighbouring countries, unprecedented surge in terrorism, and of intervention by Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
To contain such civil war, the study said, would require a force of 450,000 - three times the number of the U.S. troops currently deployed in Iraq even after the additional 21,500 soldiers Bush decided recently to send.
The report also proposed setting up a regional group that would work to help contain a possible civil war.
The study also recommended drawing "red lines" which, if crossed by Tehran, could lead to a military confrontation between the Islamic Republic and the U.S.
Everything indicates that the not just the ME region, but also the United States, are heading for a nightmarish phase.
The report echoed warning by Jordan's King Abdullah, who raised fears last year that the Middle East's facing the prospect of three simultaneous civil wars erupting.
"We're juggling with the strong potential of three civil wars in the region, whether it's the Palestinians, that of Lebanon, or of Iraq," the Jordanian king said in November 2006 on ABC's "This Week."
Islamonline.comGüncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16