The Refugee Factor

Andrew Exum interviews Deborah Amos on her new book, Eclipse of the Sunnis:

I couldn’t be on the ground in Baghdad in 2007, but I was in Damascus during the troop build up. There were more Iraqis fleeing the country in 2007 than had left in 2006. In Damascus, the UN refugee center was packed each day. By interviewing the newcomers I could document the explosion of sectarian cleansing that took place as additional U.S. moved into Baghdad neighborhoods. For many Iraqis, the price of the surge was quite high and some are still paying. Tactically, the surge contributed to the dramatic drop in violence, strategically, the surge failed to spark a political reconciliation in Iraq. Which means the refugee crisis could be with us for some time to come.