Another DynCorp employee was missing, and two were wounded, Mr. Dickerson said. The twin bombings came on the eve of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, a period for which American officers say they are preparing for a surge of violence. Last year, the Ramadan holiday coincided with an offensive by the insurgents, beginning with five suicide bombings, including one at the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The attacks on Thursday followed a number of attempts by insurgents to get inside the heavily protected area. Last week, security personnel found a bomb planted just outside the cafe struck Thursday. Last month, a woman was stopped while trying to smuggle a bomb inside the main gate.
The statement by Mr. The attacks came a day after the Iraqi prime minister, Ayad Allawi, demanded that the people of Falluja, a city controlled by insurgents, hand over Mr. Zarqawi or face military action. Talks there aimed at reaching a peaceful resolution of the standoff appeared to be on the brink of collapse on Thursday, with an American-led invasion of the city looming.
Speaking on Al Jazeera, the Arabic-language television network, a man calling himself Abu Assad said the insurgent council that controls Falluja had suspended negotiations with the Iraqi government over the demand that the city turn over Mr. The tribal sheik who is leading the talks with the Iraqi government took a more measured town, saying the negotiations would go on, but he expressed frustration at the demand that the city turn over Mr.
The Iraqi government and the American military are determined to retake Falluja, which fell under the control of insurgents in April. At a news conference on Thursday, the Iraqi national security adviser, Qassim Daoud, bluntly promised military action if negotiations failed.
"With thousands of deaths and hundreds of billions of dollars spent, the indisputable fact remains that the Iraq war is a major failure. But what led to such a. Hope Is Not a Plan takes the reader inside the war in Iraq courtesy of participant- observers brought there to diagnose the insurgency and develop a get-well.
Daoud expressed skepticism about whether the tribal leaders would be able to be force the insurgents to disarm, a condition for any deal. Daoud said. The attacks inside the Green Zone seemed to heighten a growing sense of insecurity there.
In addition to the bombs discovered last week and last month, people inside the area have also been mugged, stabbed and nearly kidnapped. In addition to the fortifications that surround the zone, most of the buildings inside it a are encased in blast walls and protective barriers.
As the sanctuary for Iraq's government and American diplomats here and the former main palace of Saddam Hussein, the Green Zone is a target of political and symbolic importance. Occupying four square miles in central Baghdad, it is home to about 5, Americans and Britons.
It also contains a large neighborhood that has about 12, Iraqis, who need ID cards, and who must be searched, to enter. The fact that bombers had managed to attack within the zone immediately raised questions of whether security had loosened.
Short and soft-spoken, he does not look like the textbook version of a war hero, yet he has been cast as one in his election campaign. He flew home in , just as the U. Iraq has, to many, become shorthand for the unintended consequences of U. With most U. Dislodging ISIS took over three years. The U.
It was a grueling battle; retaking Mosul involved what U. Al-Abadi now has a much more complex mission: governing his fractured country, while ensuring that ISIS cannot regroup. After nearly four years in office, al-Abadi claims he has learned some hard lessons from the disaster of ISIS. He believes the key to halting another existential threat is to instill in all Iraqis a sense of nation-hood, connecting them to the central government at least as much as to their tribal and religious leaders.
To do that, he will need to tackle perhaps the toughest problem of all: rampant corruption. In response, he fired several generals and top officials. Despite that, al-Abadi has managed to make only a tiny dent in the dizzying graft during his time in office. He describes the anti-corruption fight—his main election promise—as somewhat overwhelming. Yet that could include powerful figures and leave al-Abadi himself politically vulnerable.
Yet on the streets of Baghdad, patience is wearing thin. Young Iraqis do not necessarily see themselves as having been liberated; they simply want a good government and decent prospects. Al-Abadi says he sees job creation as urgent. One obvious way to employ large numbers of Iraqis is to begin repairing the war damage. In February, representatives from dozens of countries and hundreds of companies gathered in Kuwait for a conference on reconstructing Iraq after years of battle, which devastated large parts of Mosul and shattered infrastructure elsewhere.
Ambassador Douglas A. Silliman, speaking from the Green Zone. But his powerful opponents inside Iraq, many backed by Iran, will likely squeeze him for concessions. ISIS unified Iraq even as it divided it, with many Iraqis bound together in their mutual hatred for the jihadists.
Iraqi Kurdistan held a referendum last September to declare independence from Baghdad, prompting a swift crackdown from al-Abadi. Now his re-election in May rests on fragile alliances that may not please every-one. Grouped together as the Popular Mobilization Forces, or PMF, the dozens of groups—most backed by Iran—joined the war effort alongside the Iraqi army, though at far lower pay.
Now they expect recognition, including more political power. With his potbelly and gray mustache, Qassim does not look like the model of a hardened fighter. Thousands complied. Qassim fought for years, moving from one battlefront to the next, each time setting up a thermal camera and firing mortars at ISIS.
If al-Abadi wins a second term as Prime Minister, he will need to reckon with the thousands of war veterans like Qassim whose bravery has brought strong applause from grateful Iraqis—even those wary of the influence that Iran wields over the militia groups. There are currently about 5, U. Iraqis are split on this; military officials say they are still heavily dependent on U.
Its mammoth oil reserves total about billion barrels, the fifth largest on earth, and it has considerable untapped gas. There is also plentiful fertile land for agriculture, with two long rivers that snake across hundreds of miles. There are glimpses everywhere of that potential future in Baghdad, a city of 7 million.
One January evening, TIME dined on a street jammed with teenagers celebrating the start of a school break in a row of restaurants packed with families—a scene that would have been unimaginable 15 years ago. Nonetheless, Iraq remains deeply scarred by war. And it is those scars that could well reopen, if left to fester in resentment and disappointment. That much is clear when you drive just 35 miles west out of Baghdad to a place that has seen years of violent conflict: Fallujah. Few places in Iraq so well encapsulate the battles over the past 15 years as the scene of some of the fiercest fighting during the U.