We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us
Iraqis Wasting An Opportunity, U.S. Officers Say With Attacks Ebbing, Government Is Urged to Reach Out to Opponents
By Thomas E. Ricks Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, November 15, 2007; A01
CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq -- Senior military commanders here now portray the intransigence of Iraq's Shiite-dominated government as the key threat facing the U.S. effort in Iraq, rather than al-Qaeda terrorists, Sunni insurgents or Iranian-backed militias.
In more than a dozen interviews, U.S. military officials expressed growing concern over the Iraqi government's failure to capitalize on sharp declines in attacks against U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians. A window of opportunity has opened for the government to reach out to its former foes, said Army Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the commander of day-to-day U.S. military operations in Iraq, but "it's unclear how long that window is going to be open."
The lack of political progress calls into question the core rationale behind the troop buildup President…