Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Golden Mosque Perps Reported in Custody

Iraq the Model reports that the bombers of the Golden Mosque have been arrested. Well at least one of them. The others have been gathered to their fathers.


In a news conference currently being broadcast on TV, Iraq's national security advisor Muwaffak al-Rubaie says Iraqi security forces arrested Abu Qudama al-Tunisi in a raid in the suburb of al-Dhuloiya north of Baghdad. 15 other foreign terrorists were killed in the raid according to al-Rubaie. ... Muwaffak al-Rubaie said the security forces are still searching for Haitham al-Badri who is believed to be the field commander under whom Abu Qudama was operating.

Al-Rubaie described Al-Badri is a terrorist with connections to elements in the past regime who later became one of the leaders of Ansar al-Sunna and later al-Qaeda organization in Iraq. ... 4 Saudis, two Iraqis and one Tunisian entered the mosque at night, handcuffed and locked up the guards in a room and spent the night planting the bombs all around the mosque. Next day they kidnapped and murdered Atwat Bahjat while she was trying to cover the news of the bombing.

That would make the perps fundamentally Sunni in character, for those who want to keep score that way. The Wikipedia entry on Ansar al-Sunna says it:

is an Islamist militant group in Iraq that fought the US-led occupation and US-backed interim government of Iyad Allawi, and continues to fight the new ruling government of Ibrahim al-Jaafari. The group is based in northern and central Iraq, and includes both Iraqi Kurdish and Sunni Arab religious radicals and possibly some foreign fighters. The group maintains close ties with the remnants of Ansar al-Islam, a Kurdish Islamist organization formerly based in the mountains near Halabja in northeastern Iraq before the U.S-led invasion. U.S. officials believe that the group was founded in September of 2003 as an umbrella organization for Islamist guerrillas, with former members of Ansar al-Islam at its core. This date coincides with the first released message from the group stating their existence, on September 20. They claim to seek to expel U.S.-led occupation forces from Iraq and to subsequently establish an Islamic state. The group's leader has been identified Abu Abdullah al-Hassan bin Mahmoud, who is believed to be the brother of a major Ansar al-Islam fighter, although his background is unclear.

Ansar al-Sunna is thought to have links with other Islamist organizations operating in Iraq, including the Abu Musab al-Zarqawi backed Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad (al-Qaeda in Iraq). In October 2004 Ansar al-Sunna released a video beheading of a Turkish truck driver on its website. The kidnappers on the video identified themselves as members of al-Tawhid wal-Jihad (Source: MERIA). The United States and Iraqi Interim governments have reportedly linked Ansar al-Sunna to al-Qaeda.

Following the twin Sunni and Shiite uprisings of the spring and summer of 2004, and the subsequent decrease in U.S patrols and the creation of "no-go" areas in the Sunni Triangle, Ansar al-Sunna was believed to be part of a loose coalition of insurgent groups (also including guerrillas from Mohammad's Army and al-Tawhid wal-Jihad) controlling the Sunni cities of Fallujah, Ramadi, Samarra, and Baquba (U.S. offensives later largely wrested control from Baquba, Fallujah, and Samarra, although underground guerrilla forces still have a strong presence in those cities).

Commentary

If Rubaie has got the right perps then this is a tremendous intelligence victory for the Coalition. Whatever cell was in charge of investigating the Golden Mosque incident never let this trail go until it finally led to this Baghdadi safehouse. Again it shows that the primary weapon of the Coalition isn't what is visible to the eye but rather that which goes unremarked. Intelligence operations followed by targeted raids. For that reason the war against intel unremittingly waged by institutions like the New York Times has its price. It has a cost. While it's true that there are always going to be valid concerns about the intrusive impact of intel operations, there is no way that crimes like the Golden Mosque attack can be solved without them. The question is always going to be how much we are willing to hamper the capability to catch heartless murderers in order to preserve the normalcy of our lives. Once the tradeoff is understood then the choices can be intelligently made.

61 Comments:

Blogger Bon Air said...

It is a tremendous intelligence victory for the coalition but I believe an even bigger victory for the ISF. They caught this guy, they kiiled 15 terrorist who were involved in the destruction of a very important shrine for the majority of people in Iraq.

The TV reporting in Iraq according to Mohammed doesn't mention anything about the coalition's part in this. Good!

This may be a much bigger deal to Iraqis than any of us.

6/28/2006 04:21:00 AM  
Blogger Bon Air said...

Omar reported this, not Mohammed

6/28/2006 05:06:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

This also emphasizes that "nothing suceeds like success" - intelligence operations become easier after victories such as the reduction of Fallujah and the Zarqawie Kerpowie. People are more willing to talk when they see which way the wind is blowing, and the fence sitters can't prevaricate very well after you blow up the fence.

6/28/2006 05:23:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Perhaps the Coalition is not mentioned because of the minor role they played, or maybe it's just briefing spin. Matters little.

This one incident took out another 1% of the Radicals manpower.

When 15 operatives are that large a portion of the force, there is not much of a Military Force.
In fact it is more criminal in nature, like MS-13. Which is, proportionately, as large in the US as aQI is in Iraq. Fancy that.

Proportionately we'd need a million and half trrops chasing after MS-13 in the streets, on patrol from LA and Baltimore, to see the same effect.

The massed troops would be mostly ineffective here in the US, as they are there, in Iraq.
When chasing criminal gangs.

6/28/2006 05:38:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

rwe, I agree with you. The insurgents no longer can promote the illusion that they have a chance of victory. Time is against them.

In this environment, there is an incentive to turn in terrorist cells for the reward before somebody else does. The incentive is raised by the reduced probability of any terrorists being left soon to try to figure out who snitched.

And when the terrorists are killed by Iraqi troops, sent by a democraticly-elected iraqi government, there can be no accusations of "collaborating with infidel occupiers"

6/28/2006 05:43:00 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

"Gathered to their fathers."

I LOVE that line. I'l be using that one for a while.

6/28/2006 05:54:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Tony Blankley writes of Generals and Armies and Presidents.

He echos my feelings and I'm sure those of many readers, here.

"... Abraham Lincoln had to fire several generals before he found his fighting victory generals Grant and Sherman. (And FDR and General Marshall had to advance Colonel Eisenhower quickly to four stars to find their victory general in Europe.)

There is always an awful lot of politics in the upper levels of the military, and every general with three or four stars on the shoulder is not necessarily Grant, Sherman, Eisenhower or Patton. It is precisely the president's job to find and put in place the generals with the unquenchable will and capacity to win the war. (And with the courage to ask for more troops.)

President Bush should read and re-read MacArthur's first two sentences: "apply every available means to bring [war] to a swift end. War's very object is victory, not prolonged indecision."

If President Bush should read those first two sentences, his Democratic Party war critics should read the third sentence: "There is no substitute for victory."


Anyway, it'll be interesting to see if Newt's old Press Sec., Mr Blankley, will migrate to the camp that would put ole' Newt in the White House in '08.

6/28/2006 06:16:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Anyone find any confirmation on this?

6/28/2006 06:24:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

FOX HAS IT

FOXNEWS.COM HOME > WORLD
Samarra Golden Dome Bombing Suspect Captured
Wednesday, June 28, 2006

BAGHDAD, Iraq — Iraqi forces captured a key Al Qaeda suspect wanted in the bombing of a Shiite shrine, but the mastermind of the attack that brought the country to the brink of civil war was still at large, a top security official said Wednesday.

Yousri Fakher Mohammed Ali, a Tunisian also known as Abu Qudama, was captured after being seriously wounded in a clash with security forces north of Baghdad a few days ago in which 15 other foreign fighters were killed, National Security Adviser Mouwafak al-Rubaie said.

6/28/2006 06:31:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Also, on a related note,

"... The next day, still with remarkably little public attention, Philip Zelikow, the counselor of the State Department, and Deputy Treasury Secretary Robert Kimmitt met with Annan and his deputy, Mark Malloch Brown, at the secretary general's Sutton Place residence. There was no one else present.

The two presidential envoys asked Annan to use his unique "convening powers" to help organize international meetings that would lead (by this fall, the Americans hope) to the unveiling of a new "Iraq Compact" -- an agreement between the Iraqi government and major international donors that would commit Baghdad to a series of political and economic reforms in return for substantially more international aid. (Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called Annan the same day to make an identical request.) ..."


When taken along with the initial reporting that the "Maliki Plan" would include a UN decree concerning a timeline for the Coalition's withdraw, this is the "real" news.
Unreported in the MSM, below the fold everywhere.

The US is handing off, to Iraqis and Kofi's replacement.
That is the Course we've set.

Out of Iraq in '08, before the Election
Takes the legs out from under the Dems.

The UN, back in the saddle, again.

Richard Holbrooke, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, writes a monthly column for The WaPo.

The link supplies the rest of it, if interested.

6/28/2006 06:35:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Only Arab Intelligence sources will break AQ and this surely is encouraging to those interested in intelligence gathering and winning. I am breathlessly searching for the NYT banner celebrating the good news. I'll be back...

6/28/2006 06:35:00 AM  
Blogger Goesh said...

It darn sure will help the situation too when saddam steps into eternity from the gallows

6/28/2006 06:52:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Somewhat related to this, Maliki is taking an interesting and hard line on amnesty. He said that multinational troops came into Iraq by international agreements, so there will be no amnesty for insurgents who have killed them.

I wondered this myself, if the UN resolution about the multi-national forces changed the legal status.

This leaves a few unanswered questions and problems though.

First is that there was no UN resolution when the US & UK invaded initially, and some Iraqi troops were fighting in uniform as part of an organized army under command of their government. Under those circumstances was it a crime for an Iraqi soldier in a tank to fire at multi-national forces during the initial invasion, and if so will that soldier be tried and executed? If so, this would be the first time I've ever heard of where soldiers of the losing army were tried in a court room as criminals for fighting back.

Second, one core principle of law is self-defense. Will an Iraqi be allowed to argue that he shot someone in self defense, or does the Maliki plan waive the right to self defense? I'm thinking more of the tit for tat ethnic cleansing killings between Sunnis and Shiites.

Third, I wonder about the practicality of it all. Will they really refight the entire war in the courtroom, three years of battle expanding into a multi-week trial for each case, with months of discovery, detectives digging up evidence, testimony, motions,...

Finally, by having in effect no amnesty, there is no incentive for anyone to quit fighting, and no way to divide and conquer the enemy.

For an example an Iraqi soldier might have followed his chain of command, fighting and killing multi national forces in the early days of the war, but then became non-violent within a few months after the Iraqi government collapsed. If there is no amnesty, the soldier will know that as long as the Maliki government and amnesty plan stands, he has the chance that someone might recognize him as a soldier, and so he might end up in jail or executed. He might decide that he is already a marked man and so might as well fight, or he might just passively not support the Maliki government and allow the resistance to continue.

This is creating a situation where an Iraqi who follows the laws of war and only attacks military targets is punished as severely as a monster from Al Qaeda who slaughters civilians and tries to bring the government down.

At least 8 Sunni resistance groups expressed interest in the Maliki plan, but if there truly is no amnesty for those who attacked only military targets, it is tough to see where the amnesty applies to them or any other major resistance group.


Iraqi PM sets conditions for amnesty
By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA, Associated Press Writer


...Al-Maliki also made clear his call for an amnesty for militants would not include those who killed U.S. forces or Iraqis.

"Any amnesty for insurgents will exclude fighters who killed Iraqis or soldiers of the multinational forces because these troops came to Iraq according to international agreements and they are contributing in making the political process successful," he said.

6/28/2006 07:02:00 AM  
Blogger JP Phish said...

Desert Rat,

I have seen no sign that Bush wanted anything other than victory.

Very smart army officers at the Combined Arms Center have been conducting war games and have not come up with a better strategy than the one used.

To suggest the war could have been won sooner with a magic bullet (no pun intended) is, I believe, assuming that the environment was target-rich. The break-through in the war occured only after we started getting actionable intelligence from Iraqi citizens, which was accomplished when they gained confidence in the new Iraqi Army.

Also, suggestions that we made a huge mistake in disbanding the Iraqi army are mis-placed. Comments from U.S. Army officers trying to train former Iraqi officers show us that they were vastly incompetant and untrustworthy. Qualified officers are now being developed from the enlisted ranks.

6/28/2006 07:15:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

jp,

There was never anyone coming to relieve US in Iraq, but Iraqis.

The exile Army that was authorized by Congress, pre-War, was never mobilized.
The initial planning for the ISF was terribly flawed.
The training of the "new" ISF was given low priority. We were on the wrong course for over a year.
It was discussed here at the Club, long before we migrated to this fallback site.

The lack of an adequate early response to the Insurgency only made matters worse.

If the War Gamers could not find a better tactical method than what has been employed, in Iraq, the parameters of the game are to restricted.
Like the decisions made recently, re: Camp Taji and the transfer of the US Col. working hand in glove with the Iraqi forces.
That story is at Westhawk.

Hard to war game Alexander's victory at the Battle of Gaugamela, an echeloned formation never having been seen before.

Victory in Iraq, and in all the Mohammedan Wars, may require actions out side the current parameters.

6/28/2006 07:42:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Jp,

One question. Rather than disband the Iraqi army, could they not have been deployed to Okinowa?

6/28/2006 07:49:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/28/2006 07:50:00 AM  
Blogger bohica said...

"Once again, an administration that has underfunded, undersupported and undermined the United Nations has turned to it, almost in desperation, for help."
- Holbrooke

I am continually amazed at how this situation is spun by Bush's opponents. I personally see it as an attempt by the U.S. to try to bring the U.N. into the Iraq situation in what should be it's rightful role. Never mind, Mr. Holbrooke, that the organization has failed miserably up to this point. The U.S. desperate for U.N. help..OR..the U.S. desperate for the U.N. to be relevant. Guess it's in the eyes of the beholder.
Bohica, out.

6/28/2006 07:50:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

But the Military refuses to transform itself to fight the "new" battle.

The answer is not in more SWAT teams, but in more trainers and more US troops embedded with Iraqi and other foreign forces.

That should be the path to promotion, if these brush fire wars across the Mohammedan Crescent are to be successful concluded.

But then the US has not achieved a stategic military Victory since General MacArthur's retirement.

6/28/2006 07:52:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...


Iraq PM says contacted by armed groups on peace
By Hiba Moussa and Mussab Al-Khairalla

...U.S. politicians have called angrily for there to be no amnesty for the killers of American soldiers. But Some Sunni leaders call attacks against U.S. troops "legitimate resistance" against foreign occupiers.

Since few of those fighting the U.S.-led occupying forces and the U.S.-backed government have been convicted, or seem likely to be, the amnesty appears largely a gesture toward the Sunni community, where the rebellion has been concentrated.

"Those involved in killing Iraqis, crimes, military attacks and bombings will not be released, even those who targeted foreigners, whether multinational forces or journalists," said Maliki. "They caused horror and are not included in the amnesty."

6/28/2006 07:52:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

This sounds like the amnesty might even exclude non-lethal crimes. Whether the crime was directed at an Iraqi or non-Iraqi, it is outside the amnesty deal. Given that everyone is either Iraqi or non-Iraqi, it's hard to see what is left. I guess crimes against property, but Maliki seems to be excluding some of those too. Maybe vandalism will be pardoned.

"Those involved in killing Iraqis, crimes, military attacks and bombings will not be released, even those who targeted foreigners, whether multinational forces or journalists," said Maliki. "They caused horror and are not included in the amnesty."

6/28/2006 07:56:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Now, w.w., is that rhetoric directed at US or at his people or all of us together?

Is he doing an Arafat, different messages for different audiences?

And then, how much stock can be put into hs words, anyway?
In '02 Mr Bush promised to secure the US borders, they have not been secured, yet.

Is Mr Maliki going to be more or less effective in fulfilling his statements than Mr Bush?

What Standard should they be held to?

6/28/2006 08:07:00 AM  
Blogger JP Phish said...

wu wei,

I have my doubts about reports quoting al-Maliki as saying, "Any amnesty for insurgents will exclude fighters who killed Iraqis or soldiers of the multinational forces..."

The use of the word "kill" instead of "murder" is not logical. These two words have different meanings.

To "kill" is to take a life; it can be a legal and moral action.

To "murder" is a legal term; an act is determined to be a murder only after the perpetrator is found guilty through a judicial process.

For example, an insurgent has killed a person and the prosecuter has evidence that the person killed was in handcuffs and was being questioned at the time of the killing. The prosecuter will then charge the insurgent with murder and take him to trial. If the court determines that the insurgent killed the person in self defense, he would then be found not guilty of murder. He would then have "killed", but not "murdered".

6/28/2006 08:07:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

jp,
exactly.
Was Mr Maliki translated or speaking in english?

Since english would be his second or third language, he may not be familar with the subtle differences in the definitions of the words. He may not even have the different words in his english lexicon.

That is why watching the actions on the ground is more telling than the words of the speaches.

6/28/2006 08:20:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> Is he doing an Arafat, different messages for different audiences?

Yes, like most politicians he is very likely talking out of both sides of his mouth, telling the US no amnesty and telling the Sunni insurgents "except secretly for you".

The question is whether the insurgents will live with an unwritten promise. The reality is that if peace broke out, the Iraqi government would never follow up with investigations of everyone who died during the war. The only people amnesty might effect are those who are already captured.

It is dangerous though because those Sunnis are the best potential source of actionable intelligence, the thing that can win the war.

6/28/2006 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger Alexis said...

Wretchard:

For that reason the war against intel unremittingly waged by institutions like the New York Times has its price. It has a cost.

I doubt the New York Times will pay it, though. When there is no cost paid by the New York Times, there is no incentive for that newspaper to stop its sabotage.

6/28/2006 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

DR,
"But the Military refuses to transform itself to fight the "new" battle."

I don't see how you can say that. Clearly there have been dramatic changes in tactics and strategy and equipment over the past five years. The authorized size of the special forces has been increased, special forces officers are holding increasingly higher positions of authority. Rumsfeld's plans for making the army leaner and more mobile. The Navy completely shifting it's deployments from a very set schedule to a much more flexible one. The vastly improved close air support coordination between ground forces and air elements. Just to name some a few of the items.

There has been a very radical change since 2001 in the military.

6/28/2006 08:41:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The change, ex helo, were those planned prior to 9-11-01 or the Iraq invasion.
Mr Rumsfeld's "transformation".
That is the driver of change we are seeing, not the Iraq conflict.

Mr Rumsfeld has said as much, in the past. While there are MiTT programs in place, they are small, undermanned and under supported, IMO.

The foreign troop training aspects of the Special Forces have been devalued, in the last "4 year plan" and more SWAT capacity added.

This is not what the Iraqi experience shows is needed, but what Mr Rumsfeld had in mind when taking office in 2000.

6/28/2006 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Iraq Invasion was the "test bed" of the "Transformed" force & strategy.

The Invasion went down without a hitch, in record time.

The follow on to that early success, consolidation and security functions was not as successful.
The lessons learned in Tal Afar not even emulated tacticly within Iraq, let alone the lessons learned in Tal Afar transplanted to strategic thinking of the the Joint Chiefs.

6/28/2006 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger al fin said...

May all the bloodthirsty cretins be awarded their raisins soon. When Saddam released the 200,000 criminals, he did not know that he was demonstrating the equivalence between criminality and islamism. Saddam the scholar.

6/28/2006 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/28/2006 09:02:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...


Israelis bomb camp, cut power and water By IBRAHIM BARZAK, Associated Press Writer
31 minutes ago

RAFAH, Gaza Strip -

Israel turned up the pressure on Palestinian militants to release a captive soldier Wednesday, sending its warplanes to bomb a Hamas training camp after knocking out electricity and water supplies for most of the 1.3 million residents of the Gaza Strip.


This reminds me of questions I had during the NATO bombing in Yugoslavia. Is destruction of civilian electical, water, sewer facilities a lawful tactic in war? Is there any limit to how long it can go on?

I don't know the answers to the questions, am just asking.

6/28/2006 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Mr Rumsfeld's transformed force is for the post Cold War conventional battle. Not the "new" asymetric Mohammedan Wars and Campaigns.

Somalia is the new byword.
Darfur the old.

Conventional US force not likely to be employeed in either.
Trainers and advsors, not direct action door kickers, will be needed across the board, as force multipliers.
All the more so if it is going to be an asymetric, low intensity "Long War", that we intend to win.

6/28/2006 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Associated Press
Sri Lankan Navy Repulses Rebel Attack
By BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI, 06.28.2006, 06:37 AM

Using helicopter gunships and fast attack boats, the Sri Lankan navy on Wednesday repulsed a planned Tamil rebel attack on a naval base along its west coast, officials said.

The sea battle came amid violence that many fear is edging the nation closer to full-scale civil war. ..."


Around 20 Sea Tiger boats had come to attack our camp in Kalpitiya. We retaliated and got help from our air force,"

tip of the brim to steve @ threatswatch.org

6/28/2006 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger JP Phish said...

Desert Rat,

The Army recognized that training was inadequate after some battle experience with those troops. The plan was to get as many Iraqi Army/Police faces on the street as soon as possible, but when that critical mistake was recognized a rapid change was initiated. The identification of the problem and capability to correct it demonstrates flexibility in the strategy; war is unpredictable and flexiblity is key.

The mistake in how to train the Iraqi Army/Police was not the result of poor planning; it was the result of "reality"; we cannot expect perfection. The first gulf war had mistakes; as an example, numerous friendly fire incidents. And I doubt that you can say Macarthur and Eisenhower made no mistakes.

Read the article about war gaming at the CAC and you'll find that the Army is being innovative in adapting to these battles. Also, please read the link, General Casey’s counter-insurgency school in Westhawks article. The description of the school and the priorities of Casey are not what Westhawk describes; in fact Westhawk's description bears no resemblance to the link. There is, however, this following paragraph:

The center strives to get leaders to think "outside the box." Escalation of force is one example. "We try to get people not to take counterproductive actions," Cafaro said. "Force protection is very important, don't get me wrong, but there are certain things you can do that are not helpful, like the escalation of force. Let's really think about, 'Do we have to shoot our weapons to warn people?'

"If we have to, then fine. But the nature of what you are doing is not winning you any friends," he said. "The idea is to try not to create more enemies. If we do escalation of force and it results in some needless casualties, then you haven't created a lot of support for what we're trying to do."

Perhaps Westhawk took prevention force escalation as the “kinder, gentler” approach to counter-terrorism, but I don't think so. Remember the incident during the first three months of the war, when we were on out way to Baghdad? An army officer deflated a situation in which the local citizens were protesting the possible assult on a mosque, and I beleive the officer told his troops to lay their weapons on the ground.

Also Westhawk implies that there are competing priorities, those being "kinder, gentler" and preparing Iraq soldiers so they can take over full responsibility in Iraq. And that "kinder, gentler" is leading on the priority list. It is beyond me why these are competing priorities and Westhawk makes no effort to explain this.

If, somehow, Westhawk thinks we are training our warriors to be "kinder-gentler" instead of training Iraqs, then he/she has failed to realize that the purpose of the counter-intelligence school is to train the troops who will train the Iraqis.jdtwixmx

6/28/2006 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

jp,
I recall the incident you describe.
The Army was going to "secure" the area, one that was already full of "security".
It became an early "hand over" of responsibility, so to speak.

So too, the truces negotiated with Mr al-Sadr, ending his localized Insurrections and battles with the Marines.

As you say, the Military became aware of the short comings of their post invasion plan for the ISF. They also moved slowly to rectify the problems, but effective training of the Iraqis came even more slowly. It should have had the highest priority, from before the Invasion.
The law had been passed and the funds appropriated to train an Indigenous Force, to accomany US.
They never were mobilized, reportedly stymied by the State Dept.

Embedding and crosstraining are the best ways to create and train a new force quickly. One US troop for every 8 to 10 Iraqi, in the Iraqi units. Across the board. The ISF built initially around US and returned exiles.

After a five year progeam, we've already been there for three, we'd have stood up a real force that had been directly exposed to US standards & practices for years. The long term impact on the ISF and Iraqi society immeasurable.

A clone of the Katusa program in Korea. It has had a great impact on Korean society, that program.

Bet that strategy for post Invasion Iraq was not war gamed.

6/28/2006 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger JP Phish said...

Desert Rat,

The Army recognized that training of the Iraqi Army/Police was inadequate after some battle experience with those troops. The plan was to get as many Iraqi Army/Police faces on the street as soon as possible (quality was not a priority). However, when that critical mistake was recognized a rapid change was initiated. Identification of the problem and capability to correct it demonstrates flexibility in the strategy; war is unpredictable and flexiblity is key.

The mistake in how to train the Iraqi Army/Police was not the result of poor planning; it was the result of "reality"; we cannot expect perfection. The first gulf war had mistakes, and one example is that there were numerous friendly fire incidents. And I doubt that you can say Macarthur and Eisenhower made no mistakes.

Please read the article about war gaming at the CAC and you'll find that the Army is being innovative in adapting to the new type of battle. Also, please read the link, General Casey’s counter-insurgency school in Westhawks article. The description of the school and the priorities of Casey are not what Westhawk describes; in fact Westhawk's description bears no resemblance to the link. There is, however, this following paragraph:

The center strives to get leaders to think "outside the box." Escalation of force is one example. "We try to get people not to take counterproductive actions," Cafaro said. "Force protection is very important, don't get me wrong, but there are certain things you can do that are not helpful, like the escalation of force. Let's really think about, 'Do we have to shoot our weapons to warn people?'

"If we have to, then fine. But the nature of what you are doing is not winning you any friends," he said. "The idea is to try not to create more enemies. If we do escalation of force and it results in some needless casualties, then you haven't created a lot of support for what we're trying to do."

Perhaps Westhawk took prevention of force escalation as the “kinder, gentler” approach to counter-terrorism, but I don't think this is so. Remember the incident during the first three months of the war, when we were on our way to Baghdad? An army officer deflated a situation in which the local citizens were protesting the possible assult on a mosque, and I believe the officer told his troops to lay their weapons on the ground. It worked and the tensions died down.

Also Westhawk implies that there are competing priorities, those being "kinder, gentler" and "preparing Iraq soldiers so they can take over full responsibility in Iraq". And that "kinder, gentler" is leading on the priority list. It is beyond me why these are competing priorities and Westhawk makes no effort to explain this.

If, somehow, Westhawk thinks we are training our warriors to be "kinder-gentler" instead of training Iraqs, then he/she has failed to realize that the purpose of the counter-intelligence school is to train the troops who will train the Iraqis.

6/28/2006 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Some insurgents have offered a total end of hostilities, under certain conditions! Peace in our time?

AP: Iraq insurgents offer to stop attacks By STEVEN R. HURST and QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA, Associated Press Writers
9 minutes ago



BAGHDAD, Iraq - Eleven Sunni insurgent groups have offered to halt attacks on the U.S.-led military if the Iraqi government and

President Bush set a two-year timetable for withdrawing all foreign troops from the country, insurgent and government officials told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The demand is part of a broad offer from the groups, who operate north of Baghdad in the heavily Sunni Arab provinces of Salahuddin and Diyala. Although much of the fighting has been to the west, those provinces have become increasingly violent and the attacks there have regularly crippled oil and commerce routes.

The groups do not include the powerful Islamic Army in
Iraq, Muhammad Army and the Mujahedeen Shura Council, the umbrella label for eight militant groups including al-Qaida in Iraq. But the new offer comes at a time when Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government is reaching out to militant Sunnis, including a new amnesty plan for insurgent fighters.



Link

6/28/2006 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

jp

Few officers go through the training course at Leavenworth, and they are Majors.

More telling is the description of the training for the soon to depart.
Riot training and crowd control.

We train in Panama for that, alot, both from the US side and as rioters. Every six months or so.

Read the Camp Taji tale.
The segregation of the troops.
Seperate is not equal, and that sends a real message to the Iraqis in the ISF. It is a ratification by extension, at a personal level of US intentions and a lack of respect for the Iraqi.

It's a respect driven Society, and we dis 'em as Policy and think they'll be fine with it?

6/28/2006 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Actually the above may only be an end to hostilities with the US, the article isn't clear.

6/28/2006 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger JP Phish said...

OOps. I don't know how I posted two identical/or almost identical posts.

And one more comment: On the war strategy, army planning:

Army Transformation has undergone a major change since OIF started. It does not resemble the pre-war plan.

Here is a link with an overview of the new objectives.

6/28/2006 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

Here’s a story about animation, that has some bearing on some of the assinine criticism of the “mistakes” and alleged “poor planning” in our efforts in Iraq.

In thirty years of producing and designing animation, I’ve used a method developed and perfected over 75 years ago. Even with computer graphics, the process is like designing a building, in applying a disciplined, stepwise series of approximations, guidelines and specifications, and repeated testing in increasing detail and refinement. It “rationalizes” an otherwise untidy and intuitive process.

When I was a kid learning how to draw, my friends called it “CHEATING” to do a light sketch, then clean it up with heavier strokes. God forbid that you should use INK, then erase the pencil lines. Boy, that was the mark of Satan.

Of course, that’s a far more efficient method: a series of progressively refined approximations, gauging the details of each NEW stage by evaluating and improving on the earlier work.

So for fifteen years I’d been drawing like an idiot— once I put the first pencil mark on a piece of paper I was committed to that piece of paper! I would erase all the way through the paper before I would give up and transfer my attention to another. When I first started learning professional methods, working with an Oscar-winning animator, it was astounding to find I could get to a finished drawing in a quarter of the time by just scribbling on one sheet, lay a second down trace & clean up, repeat on a third sheet, and maybe a fourth or a fifth to get a final clean drawing that looked like what I wanted. The paper waste was a penny a sheet.

Script... models... storyboards... rough animation... clean ups... tracing & painting... checking and refining at each stage to catch the inevitable errors...

Now here’s the punchline: I’ve had clients actually ask me, after I explain the process, “Couldn’t you save an awful lot of time by skipping the rough drawings and just starting off with the finished art?”

Even disregarding the actual America-haters and Leftists who earnestly desire Bush’s defeat, there are platoons and regiments of well-intentioned morons who simply don’t have the wit to reason their way out of an open toilet stall, but fancy they have the experience and insight to second-guess ANYONE.

Most of these people end up as journalists.

6/28/2006 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/28/2006 12:07:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Or Government employees.
Here you go with a Government operating in violation of Federal Law.

Public Law 95-514, the Public Rangelands Improvement Act of 1978

We just went through a similar case here in AZ. A federal Judge stopped the Forest Service from violating the law and removing the horses from the range for slaughter.
The Federals said they and the horses were excempt from the Law.
Judge disagreed.
It is rather expensive, though, making the Government obey the law.

6/28/2006 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

DR--Sometimes I think 'G Bless the Federal Judges'--Most of them hate the Fed government--have had cases like that here too.

6/28/2006 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Senator McCain's office just parrotted the Forest Service line.

Then they were going to "hunt" the buffalo on the north rim of the Grand Canyon. We were able to get them transported to a buffalo ranch somewhere on the Plains, forget where, instead.

6/28/2006 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Here is the story
Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge on the Nevada - Oregon border
"Sheldon Fish and Wildlife Service Runs Foals to Exhaustion and Leaves them to Die in the Desert."

Sorry.

6/28/2006 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger JP Phish said...

Desert Rat,

The School of Advanced Military Studies, discussed in the US News article, is for only a few; getting in to the program is highly competitive. Graduates earn a Masters Degree in Military Arts and Sciences and serve in critical battle staff positions within division or corps headquarters. They assist the commanders in strategic and tactical planning. There need not be an abundance of these officers and limiting the rank to Majors sounds O.K. to me.

6/28/2006 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

The huge, vast, enormous, unforgiveable mistake people in the West keep making is to think the Muslim world is just like them only they use a different language.

Fourteen centuries of Jihad.

Some folks insistently dismiss that as significant, saying the fanatics only account for a tiny fraction of the whole.

But it’s enough.

Is the practice of “honor killing” limited to fanatics? Are the fathers and brothers who murder their daughters, wives, and sisters after they’ve been RAPED, to restore the family honor... are THEY the the same folks as the Jihadis? Or are Honor Killings simply the cultural norm? Reports out of India have shown a significant increase in Hindu murders of young brides for their dowries. But, those are criminal aberrations from the way most Hindus live, and they are prosecuted as murder by the civil authorities. Many of these things have an impact far out of proportion to the actual incidence.

Almost every religion, culture or nation produces some form of cultural fanatic. But I’m not aware of any other culture that has consistently and spontaneously spawned fanatical zealots ready to murder their own neighbors as well as outsiders to their communities. FOR FOURTEEN CONSECUTIVE CENTURIES!!!! Jihad is NOT self-defense; it is NOT the response to invasion, and competition for space; it is NOT the quest for vengeance for the Crusades, or for Bush’s annoying foreign policy. It is the obligation laid out by the Prophet Muhammed in the Qur’an for the faithful to bring Islam to all regions where it does not reign.

Certainly there are many Muslims who have come to be modern and moderate, as most Christians do not take it as a Christian duty to impose their faith by war upon their neighbors. It’s been my privilege to know and respect a number of Muslims from various countries over the years. In some ways it seems absurd to expect an urban sophisticated intellectual from Indonesia or Iran to be able to exert any leverage from thousands of miles away to civilize or modernize the fanatics in the Middle East. Just like I can’t think of any way to prevent some nutjob fundamentalist Christian from WANTING to shout homophobic slogans at a military funeral.

But there is a huge swath of the Islamic world that has not advanced beyond the seventh century in its outlook. And that simplistic creed has the power to transform people in all parts of the world to Jihadi fanatics.

It does seem like we’re trundling toward some immense crisis, that will dwarf the upheaval of the 20th century European Civil War.

6/28/2006 01:27:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

It' not that it is limited to Majors, it's that it is, as you say
"is for only a few".

That's the pioint of what I've been saying.

Low numbers of trained officers in a System like the Army, where so many are deployeed, means a correspondingly low impact on how the Program is implemented.

Or so my experiences in life lead me to believe. Perhaps human nature has changed.

As Majors they cannot "order" the Lessons implemented, and their limited numbers must effect the impact of their training in theater.

6/28/2006 01:27:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

A System that, as in the Haditha incident, the Troops are led by E-6's. As they should be.

But any Major's influence is pretty thin when he's at Bn HQ and the troopers are 35K away.

6/28/2006 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Iraqi Force Development in 2006, fresh out from CSIS. It pays to read it all.

www.csis.org/component/
option,com_csis_pubs/task,view/
id,3293/type,1/

(Take note on pages 95-96.)

6/28/2006 02:54:00 PM  
Blogger The Ranger said...

I am glad that they(Iraqi Security Forces)have caught the 'Non Islam' perpitraitors of the 'Golden Mosque' Attack. I say non Islam in the fact that they hide behind religon to do their war. It is a sectarian struggle not a holy war that is going on in Iraq and we should control it as such.

6/28/2006 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger Ikez said...

http://markeichenlaub.blogspot.com/2006/06/haitham-al-badri.html
These post-Zarqawi raids are revealing how close the former Saddamists have been working with al Qaeda in Iraq. I have a list of those known thus far (all that I could find) to cross over from Baathist to al Qaeda.
Nice post and find on this guy being caught!

6/28/2006 02:58:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

trish,
"... Maj. Gen. Thomas Turner added a similar caveat when praising the progress in training Iraq units in the north. “The major inhibitor to independent operations is a lack of equipment, manpower, their inability to sustain themselves [with food, fuel, ammunition, etc.] and a lack of systems or policies in place to manage the organization.” ..."

Reality is to much to serious, ya couldn't make a statement like that up, not if it wasn't so...
funny and sad

6/28/2006 03:18:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

There's a good quote from "For Whom The Bell Tolls" by Hemingway--'nosotros tropas sique avanzando sin perder un palma de terreno'--our troops continue advancing without losing a foot of ground--or something like that. You know Spanish, Rat.

6/28/2006 04:47:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

DR,
The transformation is much more than the Stryker brigades, which was the core of Rumsfelds changes for the Army. I enumerated a number of other items, which are just a fraction of the changed. ANd the changes Rumafeld planned also play into the current requirements. Yet, you blow those off as if they have no impact. You acknowledged yourself the changes that the army has gone through in the training that they receive prior to deploying, and then you say that they are not changing. Finally, it is highly unlikely that a situation like Iraq will present itself again. The forces need to be able to respond to a very wide range of threats, which they are being designed to do.

6/28/2006 07:04:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/29/2006 01:05:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

helo
As I said in the comment that started this exchange, yhe Military "refuses to transform itself to fight the "new" battle."
The operative word is "new".

The Strykers and other "transformations" are not for the "new" threat, but rather the "old".
The conventional fight which the Army and Marines are so good at. They are in transformation, but not to engage in the Mohammedan struggle. They are transforming to better fight a conventional foe.

The President does not even admit there is a Mohammedan struggle, so why would the military be transforming to meet it?
When the CiC says it does not exist.
We have not engaged the Mohammedans in Sudan, Somalia or Warizistan, to name the most obvious. And we will not any time soon, with Stryker Brigades, or SWAT teams.
Those are already "old school" and obsolete in the new struggles.

The threats are morphing faster than the US can transform it's miltary.
As always we are prepping to fight the "last" war, not the next.

As you convinced me a year ago, it is only through having the Muslims take on the Mohammedans that we will win, without genocide.

To do that we have to work, hand in glove with the Muslims, that, as evidenced in the Camp Taji story is not happening, even in Iraq.
The Military is culturally challenged, in working with foreigners. Hell, the Marines are culturally challenged when working with the Army.
The training and coordination of foreigners will be paramount if we are going to win a "Long War" of intelligence and hearts and minds.

That aspect of the "transformation" was left at the station.
Who will be in Iraq in four or ten years, the US commander at Camp Taji or the Iraqi Officer he tried to relieve?
How does attempting to relieve an Iraqi officer and causing a "strike" amongst the subordinate Iraqi officers at Camp Taji move the ball forward to Victory in the "new" conflict?
Whose country and, really, whose war is it?

6/29/2006 01:22:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

jp,
As to the COIN training and it's implementation.
While it is important to offer the carrot, to offer an open hand.
It is just as important to be willing to wield the stick, to swing the mailed fist.
The two must go hand in hand, at least they used to.
Sweetness, alone, is not going to win the hearts and minds.
Never has, never will.

From Ramadi to Taji and on to Haditha, "don't shoot back" is what is being reported as Op Orders for patrols.
Perhaps the quotes and reports are all false, but I doubt it.

6/29/2006 08:02:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If the ladies on FOX News are right, the SOCTUS has decided that the Gitmo guys and, by extension all detainees in the GWoT are POW's, to be afforded Geneva Convention "rights".

The "left" was right, after all?

6/29/2006 08:09:00 AM  

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