Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Myth of the Surge

Rolling Stone has a great piece on the details of the surge and the recent reduction in violence. This is one of the best examples of spurious causality I've seen outside a research methods textbook. A political scientist's dream. Here's an excerpt:

"We are essentially supporting a quasi-feudal devolution of authority to armed enclaves, which exist at the expense of central government authority," says Chas Freeman, who served as ambassador to Saudi Arabia under the first President Bush. "Those we are arming and training are arming and training themselves not to facilitate our objectives but to pursue their own objectives vis-a-vis other Iraqis. It means that the sectarian and ethnic conflicts that are now suppressed are likely to burst out with even greater ferocity in the future."

Read the whole article here.

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