This paragraph strikes me as about seven kinds of bullshit:
Many Sunnis, for their part, are less inclined to see the soldiers as occupiers now that it is clear that American troop reductions are all but inevitable, and they are more concerned with strengthening their ability to fend off threats from Sunni jihadists and Shiite militias. In a surprising twist, the jihadists--the Americans’ most ardent foes--made the new strategy possible. Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, a predominantly Iraqi organization with a small but significant foreign component, severely overplayed its hand, spawning resentment by many residents and other insurgent groups.Many is a favorite weasel word of a journalist who wants to imply a majority or a plurality without actually identifying any such statistically meaningful thing. Then there's the "all but inevitable" troop reductions--an assurance repeated but never realized since 2004. Then there's the idea that these perceptual reductions negate the perception of American forces as occupiers. Even were it true that substantial reductions are in the offing--a doubtful proposition--fewer occupying troops are still engaged in occupation. There is the idea that "Sunni jihadists" are a category entirely discrete from "many Sunnis." There is the "small but significant foreign component"--a series of empty signifiers if I ever saw one. How small? Significant by what measure? And, of course, there is the perpetual irony of the foreign occupying power identifying the presence of foreigners in the insurgency as a matter of special gravity.