CNN is reporting that Kurdish peshmerga forces will be deployed to Baghdad. The Kurds have some of the best-trained troops in the region, and can provide the security that the Interior Ministry troops cannot. The Kurdish troops are likely to be viewed with less suspicion by Sunnis since Kurds are Sunni Muslims and the Kurdish troops are unlikely to be sympathetic to Sadrist death squads. Likewise, Kurds and Shi’ites both suffered under the Hussein regime, so it is possible that Iraqi Shi’ites will accept the Kurds provided that they are able to provide the security Baghdad needs.
The Battle for Baghdad will be one of the most crucial in this long war, but there’s reason to be optimistic. All sides know the stakes in this conflict — the Iraqi government knows that it has to perform or it will end up being destroyed. The military knows that they have a narrow window of time to get Iraq stabilized, and the Iraqi people know that the costs of a premature US withdrawal would be unfathomable. Now is our chance to take the fight to the enemy, and the peshmerga have a reputation for doing just that. It is time to take Iraq back from the militias and the death squads — and all Iraqis, Sunni, Shi’a, Kurd, Assyrian, Turkomen, and other will suffer if that does not happen.