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Susman: Gives Surge a Grade of C-

Interviewee: Tina Susman
Interviewer: Lionel Beehner
April 9, 2007

Tina Susman, Baghdad bureau chief of the Los Angeles Times, says that the Iraqi capital remains unsafe seven weeks after the surge of thousands of additional U.S. forces. She calls it the “squirt” effect, whereby insurgents are pushed out of the center and into the belts around Baghdad. Insurgents are increasingly using suicide bombs and chlorine attacks against civilians, which has resulted in some Sunni Arabs turning against groups like al-Qaeda in Iraq and cooperating more with U.S. forces in Anbar Province. Finally, Susman says that without Moqtada al-Sadr’s ability to rein in his militia group, the surge would not have been as effective but she acknowledges that there may soon be a breaking point where the Sadrists decide to take up arms again.

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