Monday, June 25, 2007

Yon and Roggio on Iraq

Both Bill Roggio and Michael Yon say that MNF has begun to talk down the prospect of any impending mega-encounter with al-Qaeda in Iraq. Roggio says "U.S. commanders have begun to tamp down expectations of a large fight against al Qaeda believed to be trapped in the city." Michael Yon writes "The immediate goal of Arrowhead Ripper was to free Baqubah of al Qaeda, by trapping and killing its members, but according to American officers here, public remarks by senior military officials may have flushed many AQI leaders before the attack. Despite this frustrating and significant setback, progress toward the end-state goal of Arrowhead Ripper—turning over Baqubah to Iraqi government control—appears to be working, at least in terms of the removal of the current AQI leadership and its quasi-government."

But as earlier posts have noted, the Operation in Baquba is really part of a wider effort called Operation Phantom Thunder. The AQI were always going to leave Baqubah, one way or the other, with a rearguard to exact a price for their eviction. But the principal problem was always how to harry the AQI during the transition. Bill Roggio writes "U.S. and Iraqi forces continue to shape the battlefield in the regions north and west of Diyala, in Salahadin, Kirkuk, and Ninewa provinces. These are areas al Qaeda will likely attempt to regroup." And the principal news is that simultaneous operations are ongoing in Mosul and in Tikrit, Mosul, Fallujah and "an area south of Baghdad" in addition to efforts against Moqtada al-Sadr.

That al-Qaeda is alive to the danger of the strategy being employed against it is indicated by their counterattacks and plan of maneuver. In a report entitled "al Qaeda Strikes at the Seams", Bill Roggio describes attacks on Coalition forces outside of Baquba. "As Iraqi and Coalition forces press forward with Operation Phantom Thunder in the Baghdad Belts, al Qaeda conducted its first coordinated counter attack. Five separate suicide strikes Baghdad, Babil and in the north resulted in up to 45 deaths. The most effective strike targeted members of the Anbar Salvation Council who were meeting in Baghdad." These counterattacks are obviously intended to produce two effects. First, create space for maneuver by forcing Coalition forces into defensive actions and second, send the message that they too can strike the forces that are attacking them. As the AQI go fluid they have to turn every now and again to keep the pursuers off their backs.


Blogger Tony said...


Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces have been spotted by British troops crossing the border into southern Iraq, The Sun tabloid reported on Tuesday.

Britain's defence ministry would not confirm or deny the report, with a spokesman declining to comment on "intelligence matters".

An unidentified intelligence source told the tabloid: "It is an extremely alarming development and raises the stakes considerably. In effect, it means we are in a full on war with Iran -- but nobody has officially declared it."

6/25/2007 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

We know that both sides will feed the fight and have positive confirmation that the Iranians are mounting their own counter-surge. Western intellectuals tend to think of military actions as "sending messages" -- a kind of hostility display such as you see in the wild -- whereas its opponents tend to think of military actions in terms of outcomes. Victory in Vietnam was defined "impossible to achieve" in principle for America but always considered to be perfectly attainable by Hanoi, who had never heard of the "impossible to win" theory.

I have no doubt that Iran and the AQI are playing to win in the classic military sense of the word. This is their goal. Hence, they will reinforce the fight with whatever means are available, while our public intelligectuals think of ways to substract from the fight.

6/25/2007 06:33:00 PM  
Blogger Db2m said...

What would Skolnick postulate?

Perhaps: The buildup in MNF/AQ controntation is serving as cover for an all-out blitz by the Elites to strongarm the vote on cloture in their globalist favor. As such, positive military results need only be ho-hum.


The suspicion point for me? When the Minutemen were referred to as "vigilantes", by Jorge.

The tipping point? When the Border Guards were railroaded, by Jorge.

Whence the latest trashing of Conservatives over the Amnesty issue? Further confirmation, by Jorge.

Before these milestones, I always thought impeachment was meant mainly for tubby, tipsy Democrats.

6/25/2007 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger Cool hand uke said...

Victory in the wider war, and the Iraq and Afghan theaters in particular would be easy to achieve given the assets and capabilities of the US. However, the enemy looks at the conflict objectively and does whatever it believes is necessary to win. The US on the other hand is constrained by self imposed limitations that may indeed turn out to be incompatible with victory. At the very least these limitations will increase the cost of victory. There may be long term strategic gains to ofset the short term tactical disadvantages of these limited committments but I'm inclined to believe that there actually is a stategic as well as tactical disadvantage to allowing your enemy a safe haven.

6/25/2007 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

Wretchard said:
I have no doubt that Iran and the AQI are playing to win in the classic military sense of the word. This is their goal. Hence, they will reinforce the fight with whatever means are available, while our public intelligectuals think of ways to substract from the fight.

And I would add that our "public intellectuals" -- Wretchard's kindness: he really means the chattering classes)think of ways to add to the *flight* of our country from the battlefield.

Wretchard, your piece on Lincoln-haters the other day shows what an ancient and venerable group these people long as we have a warrior class we have a chance.

6/25/2007 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Yon and Roggio now say..."The immediate goal of Arrowhead Ripper was to free Baqubah of al Qaeda, by trapping and killing its members, but according to American officers here, public remarks by senior military officials may have flushed many AQI leaders before the attack."

Dick Lugar has announced he has pulled the plug on the support of the President - saying blunders like the above is just more of the same and there is no reason to wait on September given failure on many fronts - most notably the Iraqi police and National Shiite-dominated Gov't. He and John Warner are the Republicans most noted military & foreign policy wonks. Warner is purportedly getting ready to begin support of the US military troop reduction to about 75,000 in strategic pull-back positions. And starting the desperate rebuilding of ground combat forces after 4 years of Bush abuse and burnout and unrestored equipment losses.

Dymphna - long as we have a warrior class we have a chance.

Not really. Iraq proved how ineffectual "high-tech supersoldiers" are if they lack the numbers needed to do the mission, declining equipment stockpiles and Reserves....and lack any support of other instruments of America like strategic communications, State Dept, economic forces, foreign language schools, and involvement of more than 5% of the population in the sacrifice.

Right now, 5% of the US population is only 15 million people. The rest are off following Paris Hilton or enjoying Bush's massive tax cuts to the wealthy they can buy all sorts of cool Chinese stuff with or add an extra illegal alien servant to the household.

Meanwhile the idiot now in the Oval Office is focusing on his Open Borders and H-1B visa program and likely getting ready to beg for a few million "noble purple-fingered refugees" from Iraq when full Civil War starts. Refugees who were ambivalent about fighting for Iraq without huge US cash bribes or were killing our guys.

6/26/2007 01:49:00 AM  
Blogger R said...

I have no doubt that when given the support and the chance to fight to win, our military personnel step up to the plate as good or better than any force on this planet.

Has there been any stories of that great government in Iraq, stepping up to their plate? Do we see articles where these elected leaders stand and tell their people hard work is before them in bringing peace to their country?

Do we see on our TV screens such efforts? Do they in fact happen but our media refuses to show us, much like the Nick Berg beheading?

Still no gas label on my local pump saying: "Thanks from a grateful nation and Iraqi peoples" or anything that would suggest their oil issues are settled and distributed to all parts of the country for rebuilding and solidifying the country. Yea, we need to give them time as we deplete our military's core, our national treasure, political will, and future choices for protection.

What was that old line? "The Arabs never miss a chance to miss a chance!"

I just can't wait till those voices who tried to advise this administration not to go into Iraq come out from the shadows and explain to us what went down in clear and verifiable language.

I think a very good and thorough house cleaning of our elected political brethren is more than in order, along with those life long civil servants. The thousands of souls from 911, those who have given their lives on the battlefields, and those whose lives will never be the same from the injuries sustained in fighting terrorism all call out for "doing the right thing" regarding these choices.

Not sure how to discover what is the "right thing?" Read Plato.

I feel like I'm surrounded by clowns and when I look into my mirror there's this red ball on my nose... Whoops, how did I get here?

How did we evolve our military into a SWAT team mentality as opposed to a military machine that rolls over the enemy for victory? Taking biometrics on the battlefield of those who we can't prove to be bad guys costs what? CSI warfare games? Fourth generation warfare?

Let me stare some more at my navel.

Now I know why Paris is so important!

6/26/2007 01:55:00 AM  
Blogger Amir Ali Tayyab said...

I request MODERATORS to remove BELMONT CLUB's abuses against me

As long the abusive content against me online at will remain at the blog of Belmont Club, this blog of mine against them will continue as a protest. As soon that is removed, it will be removed accordingly.

Amir Ali Tayyab

6/26/2007 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Amir, to demonstrate the depth of your passionate disgust, it really behooves you to go into the street, burn a flag or two, have your picture taken with your mouth wide open and spittle flying, and kill some fellow Muslims. Otherwise, you're just another unhappy moonbat.

Please note that the most important part of this sequence to prove your chops is the killing some fellow Muslims part.

6/26/2007 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger Achillea said...


Will you hold your breath till you turn blue, too?

Instead of your childish snivel-spamming, try emailing Wretchard about your poor widdle hurt feewings. There's a link over on the left side of the main page.

6/26/2007 01:23:00 PM  
Blogger centexman said...

Have the people who spilled the beans been relieved and sent home?

6/26/2007 06:43:00 PM  

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