My take on the new policy of arming the Sunni militias is up at GovExec.com. American policy in Iraq going forward will be to boslter the minority Sunnis to serve as a bulwark against the growing strength of Iranian backed Shia militias and the Shia dominated Iraqi security forces.
We are now the backers, along with Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf kingdoms, of the former Baathists in Iraq, in their decades long struggle against spreading Iranian and Shia influence. They, the Hussein regime's military and intelligence elite, augmented by Sunni tribal levies, will become our agents and our contracted fighters in the new regional Cold War aimed at stemming Iranian influence.
We're back to where we were in the 1980s during the Iran-Iraq war when we supported Iraq's effort to stop Iranian expansion. Only now, thanks to our taking down Hussien's Iraq and replacing it with a failed state, the Iranians are much stronger and have pushed the frontier of conflict further west, at little to no cost to themselves.