Thursday, November 23, 2006

Deja vu

US troops kill scores of insurgents in huge, set piece battles east of Baghdad where al-Qaeda in Iraq had set up training camps in marshes in an area from which US troops had departed, according to the New York Times. This is probably the "big fight" Former Spook had got wind of and discussed in a Belmont Club post, Dust in the Wind.


I'm getting word of a major battle last week in Iraq last week, between terrorists and elements of the 82nd Airborne, east of Baghdad. One U.S. officer described the engagement as "one of the five biggest battles" between U.S. troops and insurgents in recent years. Other reports indicate as many as 100 terrorists were killed in the fighting, which lasted for several days. American casualties were described as "light." The engagement reportedly began when the 82nd discovered--an attacked--an apparent terrorist training camp. So far, no confirmation of this operation from the "western press" in Iraq, nor the Multi-National Forces in Iraq (MNF-I) public affairs office.

The NYT account continues:

Senior commanders training Iraqi Army units here say other rural areas of eastern and central Diyala where American forces have had little oversight have been transformed into camps similar to the one at Turki. The “graduates,” many of whom belong to an umbrella group called the Sunni Council, then spread to urban areas such as Baquba, the provincial capital, said Maj. Tim Sheridan, an intelligence officer. Sectarian violence is rampant in Diyala, where Sunni Arab and Shiite militants are vying for control.

Commentary

The enemy will reinforce and likely redouble their reinforcement now that they know that the Iraq mission has lost domestic political support. That's just the reality. And the intensity of the enemy effort is likely to increase because this post-election period, compounded by the need to establish a strong bargaining position in the forthcoming Paris Peace Talks, I mean discussions with Syria and Iran, will increase the incentive to attack.

Parenthetically, one might recall that Richard Nixon briefly allowed the US Armed Forces off the leash in Linebackers 1 and 2 and that practically ripped the jaw off the enemy in that limited period. Henry Kissinger and James Baker are old enough to remember it. Maybe history does repeat itself.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will Muktada al-Sadr's militia be happy with these fireworks, or will they still take a pound of flesh from the Sunnis in the form of torture/executions to retaliate for the 144 dead with three bombs today in Sadr City?

11/23/2006 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Tit for tat, Ms T, tit for tat.

11/23/2006 07:55:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Right, after years of fighting in Vietnam with insane ROE, like not being allowed to attack MiG bases, not mining the harbors and railheads where the arms shipments came into the battle, not taking and holding ground in progressive land battles ... in Linebacker II the USAF and Navy Air brought on the General Sherman approach. To put it in perspective, for four years now, we've allowed our enemies in Iran, Syria, even in Sadr City, to operate with relative impunity to confound and combat us in Iraq.

After Linebacker II, the North Vietnamese sued for peace, and we signed a peace treaty, pledging support to our allies in the South, specifically pledging the equivalent of a Linebacker III if the North breached the treaty.

After the humiliation and self-defeat of Nixon, the Democrats dominated Congress and American policy, de-funded the war and refused to live up to the treaty.

Following the parallel, if we did Linebacker III this Christmas, and our enemies surrendered in the face of the irresistible onslaught, by April, 2009, Iranian tanks will be breaking down the gates of the Green Zone in a triumphant march, because the Democrat-controlled American Congress decided it was time to bring our troops home, and the consequences be damned.

Following the same pattern, by 2013, we will be losing one country per continent per year to the Islamists. And we'll be praying for the resurrection of Ronald Reagan.

11/23/2006 08:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice work All-Americans (82nd). And great scoop Mr. Fernandez!

11/23/2006 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger istarious said...

Why is it that after almost 4 years, US forces still need to do this kind of work in Iraq?

11/23/2006 10:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's good to see us doing what we should be doing, killing the enemy.

Gen. Abizaid's insistence that we focus on training ISF isn't working. Dr. Barnett links to and highlights the problem quoting from the WaPo story:

Lt. Col. Paul Yingling, a staff officer with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Iraq in 2005 and 2006 who worked with Iraqi units, came away thinking that the Army fundamentally is not geared to the task of helping the advisory effort.

"The thing the Army institutionally is still struggling to learn is that the most important thing we do in counterinsurgency is building host-nation institutions," he told the interviewers, "yet all our organizations are designed around the least important line of operations: combat operations."

...

"Don't train on finding the enemy," he said. "Train on finding your friends, and they will help you find your enemy. . . . Once you find your friends, finding the enemy is easy."

11/24/2006 12:58:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

The cell structure of Militant Islam has strengths and weaknesses.

Do these chaps have the discipline to take the hits, keep their heads down, and unify for a single grand and glorious Jihadi push?

We shall see soon...

11/24/2006 07:23:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

the tit for yesterday's tat -- taking it to a new level: they're starting to set each other on fire now:

Shiites Burn 6 Sunni Worshippers Alive

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Militiamen grabbed six Sunnis as they left Friday worship services, doused them with kerosene and burned them alive as Iraqi soldiers stood by ...

* * *

Doncha just love it? Every time I think I've seen absolute rock-bottom barbarity in the Middle East, they find something new and more awful to do to each other. In the name of "Islam, Religion of Peace", of course.

11/24/2006 09:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tony wrote:

Following the parallel, if we did Linebacker III this Christmas, and our enemies surrendered in the face of the irresistible onslaught, by April, 2009, Iranian tanks will be breaking down the gates of the Green Zone in a triumphant march, because the Democrat-controlled American Congress decided it was time to bring our troops home, and the consequences be damned.

At no point have the Democrats in Congress denied Bush and his generals the least thing they asked for, and they have pledged to continue to fund the war. This is an act of self-preservation for 2008, because it would be very easy for Bush to point to a budget appropriation lower than what he requested, and then blame the whole Iraq fiasco on the "soft-on-terror Democrats" giving "aid and comfort to the enemy". No. No. No. The Iraq thing is going to belong to Mr. Bush from start to finish.

11/24/2006 11:57:00 AM  

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