Maliki: U.S. surge prevented civil war

May 30, 2007 at 8:53 AM
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BAGHDAD, May 30 (UPI) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said the surge of U.S. forces that began arriving in February staved off a civil war in his country.

"If the Baghdad security plan had not been implemented, we would have a true civil war in Iraq," Maliki told CBS News.

Maliki said he's optimistic the surge of troops will result in more progress in Iraq in the coming months. He also acknowledged in a CBS interview that life is hard for people living in Baghdad.

"There are great shortages in Baghdad because it's the capital and it faces the greatest terrorist threat," Maliki said.

Meanwhile, an adviser to U.S. military commanders in Iraq said the odds are not good for success there.

"If I had to put a number to it, maybe it's a 1-in-10, maybe it's a 1-in-5 long shot if we play our cards right. There's no question that this is likelier to fail than succeed at this point," Stephen Biddle, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, told CBS.

Biddle said success will depend on convincing Iraqi insurgents to accept a cease-fire.

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