The awakening groups in Diyala province has dropped weapons and went home for a nap. The U.S. military said the units in ethnically and religiously mixed Diyala had stopped work over pay and a disagreement with the provincial police chief.
The Iraqis say this act was based on the disagreement with Ghanim Al-Quraishi, the chief police because the police have arrested two women two days ago. And the 20,000 fighters dropped their weapons and left their posts because the police refused to release these two women.
On the American side, only 4,326 awakening members are registered with the US army. And most of them were on strike for about three weeks before this incident because of payment issues. I think its a mixture of the two causes that led to that decision.
On the other hand, the awakening groups south of Baghdad, in the formerly called the death triangle, have also dropped weapons and decided to take a nap. The cause this time is that the American army shot and killed three awakening members few days ago.
On a third hand (!!!), things are boiling in Anbar province, where the awakening movements started, because of the high tension between the Islamic Party (led by vice-president Tariq Al-Hashimi) and the awakening movements. This is apparently happening because of the Islamic Party is trying to take credit of the security improvements in Anbar, and trying to take over the leading official positions in the province. And I think in this matter, there will be blood.
In Baghdad, the "Ruthless, Shadowy", as called by LA Times, Abu-Abed, the leader of the awakening movement in Amirya area has left Amirya. He has, allegedly, joined the Iraqi security forces in fighting Al-Qaeda as he said he has many informers and intelligence information about Al-Qaeda that might be useful in the up-coming fight in Mosul. Abu Abed who an officer in the Special Security Forces (Al-Amin Al-Kha9) in Saddam's time. And in the LA times report about him, they said that many Shiaa families went back to their homes in Amirya and even Abu-Abed personally welcomed them and escorted them to their houses. This is not true. Few days ago I talked to a neighbor who lives in Amirya on the phone, and he said that no Shiaa family came back. But he said that there is indeed good improvement in security in the area and many shops have re-opened.
In Dora, some disturbances were reported between the Awakening members where the former-Baathi's form the majority of this group. This of course was not reported in the media and I don't think it will.
I think that the Americans held high hopes for the Awakening groups to settle thing down once and for good. But I do not think that people bought with money will be loyal, not to their country and not to their employer. I have no doubts that there are good people in the Awakening movements, but the majority is in there for the money.
I still believe that the US took the wrong way by supporting the awakening movement. We had a semi-civil war after the Samarra bombings in 2006. In this war there was one side that is well equipped and ready to rock, which is obviously the Shiaa side. And the other side was not as equipped or ready. So, instead of disarming the Shiaa militias and cleansing the Iraqi security forces, the US decided to arm and support the Sunni side to have a balance. Maybe the US thought it was easier, faster, and less expensive (money-wise and military-losses-wise) than cleansing the security forces and fighting the Shiaa militias that became so embedded in the security forces that no practical solution is in sight.
This fragile balance will not last for long. As soon as the Americans withdraw, or decrease their existence in Iraq, we will have an all-out civil war that will lead to enormous number of deaths and eventually bisecting Iraq into sectarian regions. This might be even more facilitated if the democrats win the US elections.
You might call me pessimistic, but I see the way out of the current situation as a lose-lose bet. I hope that I am wrong. And I hope that the disaster waiting to happen will not happen.