Two statistics jumped out at me reading the Times today, just getting back from vacation.
First, at least 85 per cent of the Iraqi detainees in custody in Iraq at present are Sunnis. (The total has risen from 16,000 to 24,500 under the "surge," says the Times, citing Pentagon figures.)
Second, in a different article: "The military says that 78 per cent of the attacks against the United States are now carried out by Shiites, not Sunni militants."
The Times cites these figures in separate pieces, and doesn't connect them. It doesn't say how many Sunnis and Shiites were "detained" since the surge began in February, but even if all the Shiites in custody were seized since then, it still means that more than half of the Iraqis seized were Sunnis.
The figures do provide an important indication of how the war has turned, however. It's taken nearly two years, but the United States seems largely have succeeded in turning the war from a U.S.-Shiite war against a Sunni-backed insurgency into a hybrid war, in which the target of U.S. wrath is increasingly an Iranian-Shiite alliance. That's quite significant. It also explains why Prime Minister Maliki, who took office with the support of the Shiite bloc and Muqtada al-Sadr's forces, is now looking shakier. That's the context in which to read his comments this week that Iraq can "find friends elsewhere," i.e., in Iran.