Five U.S. Soldiers Die in Iraq, Part of a Disturbing Trend

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There is a spreading rash of assassinations and bombings in Iraq from Baghdad up to Kirkuk. News clips say the so-called Sons of Iraq are drifting back into the ranks of al-Qaeda since they are no longer getting paychecks from the United States.

Two U.S. soldiers were killed late last month. Five died in this latest attack, a rocket fusillade that landed on an Iraqi police station in eastern Baghdad. These deaths come as the United States only has around 45,000 troops there working a dramatically scaled-back mission.

It’s too early to say that Iraq is spiraling back toward civil war as the Unites States prepares to withdraw. But as the Brooking Institution’s Michael O’Hanlon recently told me, “You are right to be worried.”