It has been generally accepted (I think) that sectarian communal and ethnic hostilities are the underlying problem in Iraq, and that this problem is inherent in the governmental situation that we created there. In other words, the Shia are not willing to concede much of anything to the Sunni Arabs (who they see as permanent rivals for power) and the Sunni Arabs are unwilling to be ruled by the Shia Arabs. This situation makes it difficult if not impossible to affect a "reconciliation."
Recently, an "addendum" to this understanding has been the encouraging news that in Anbar and Diyala Provinces a good many Sunni tribal Arabs have taken up arms against AQI (and friends) and that this development (in conjunction) with increased US offensive action has been bringing a much improved situation in both provinces, but especially in Anbar where the process has been underway longer.
It seems clear (to me) that the reason for the diminution of AQI activity and control in these twp provinces is largely the result of tribal (and now secular insurgent) cooperation against AQI. Motivation? Nobody likes to have a bunch of fanatics come into one’s area and proceed to re-organize one’s life to their taste. There were several important studies written for the US DoD on the vulnerability of AQI to this kind of approach. (0ne of these, "The Tribes of the Al-Anbar Governorate" was written for DIA and has not been released to the public) They were written about a year ago and seem to have had effect on US methods (TTP). The main thing the tribals and secular insurgents bring to this fight is the ability to FIND THE ENEMY.
Today, on FNS, Dr. Krauthammer skipped boldly across all that to assert that the increased US force made available to Petraeus by the "surge" simply enables the US to exterminate the insurgents with such thoroughness that it will not matter whether or not the "warring" Iraqi parties can resolve their differences. In other words, the US will simply break the back of the insurgencies, and all will be well. If that is where we "are headed" why did we waste a lot of money on the NEW COIN manual?
It is possible to do things that way, but it has not been the method espoused by the Bush Administration until now. Surely, someone will correct me if I heard him wrongly. pl