An Under-Remarked Element of the Iraq Debate

From Harper’s, via Andrew Sullivan

“Number of Iraqis who receive regular payments from the U.S. government in exchange for not fighting:  91,600”

In all the recent discussion about the surge and the Anbar Awakening is the fact that we are literally paying many Iraqis not to fight against us. To put 91,600 in perspective, there are currently about 150,000 American troops in Iraq. The fact that there is a group of Iraqi’s equivalent to about 60 percent of the American presence in Iraq who aren’t fighting because we’re paying them not too seems to be an important element of why violence has decreased.


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