Iraq Splinters as Surge Quells Violence

Government holds no sway over 'highly decentralized situation'
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 10, 2007 2:21 PM CST
Iraqi policemen inspect the scene where a roadside bomb, targeting a police patrol, exploded in eastern Baghdad, Iraq, on Monday, Dec. 10, 2007. The attack injured four policemen and a civilian, police...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The US troop surge has stemmed the bloodshed of Iraq's civil war but has failed in its other key objective of rebuilding the fragmented country into a cohesive nation. Ten months into the surge, Iraq has further splintered into sectarian strongholds run by warlords and militias, while the government's bickering factions spin their wheels, the LA Times reports.

The weak central government "has no political control whatsoever beyond Baghdad, maybe not even beyond the Green Zone," one international observer says. Each region has its own power struggle—militias war over oil resources in the south, ethnic groups fight for control of land in the north, and Sunni paramilitary groups clash with Shiite militias in Baghdad.