Do We Have Momentum?
Bill Roggio's sources believe the "aide" killed in a firefight which wounded Zarqawi's successor, Abu Ayyub al-Masri, may have been his chief of security, though this is unconfirmed. Roggio recalls that one of al-Masri's senior aides was captured last week by Task Force 145. Earlier coverage here.
When the Surge was first announced the first historical comparison which came to mind was Operation Linebacker II, which was essentially the the brief time -- and possibly the only period -- when America actually fought the Vietnam War. Briefly, it consisted of momentarily unleashing the USAF after Nixon had been stonewalled at the "peace" negotiations. It was tremendously effective but strategically futile.
Recent events in Iraq and Iran suggest that Washington has made up its mind to remove some of the restrictions on striking at the enemy. Since then, a series of unfortunate reversals have overtaken previously "invincible" enemies, now shown to be "invincible" only because they were cloaked in political, rather than operational protection. Will the Surge be another Linebacker II? A tactical victory to smooth the way to a defeat mandated by domestic American political forces? Or will the momentum build and the enemy routed from the field? Time will tell.