Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Surge dirge

By Libby

Today's signs of progress in the so-called surge strategy don't seem to be much to celebrate. The great wall of Baghdad is off the table because of strenuous objections by the residents of the city. That's a little embarrassing since the military brass were pumping this up as a major part of the grand counterinsurgent strategy. On the bright side it does take the focus off the recent announcement that training Iraqi security forces is now considered a lost cause and the US troops are back into search and destroy mode.

Meanwhile, 9 US soldiers dead and many wounded in a car bomb suicide attack on a US patrol base in Diyala. This of course is the fatal flaw in the "security" plan. Scattering small patrol bases around the cities leaves our soldiers more vulnerable to attack since they don't have the numbers to defend themselves.

And who are these new foes?
In Diyala province northeast of Baghdad, the American military is engaged in an intractable guerrilla fight against an elusive and sophisticated enemy more deadly than many battle-hardened soldiers have ever encountered in Iraq. The attacks on U.S. and Iraqi soldiers here have risen sharply in recent months, a problem compounded by an influx of fighters in search of safer havens outside Baghdad. Many of the insurgents are well-trained, highly mobile fighters who refuse to get dragged into open confrontations in which American forces can deploy their overpowering weaponry.
Oh what a surprise - they're the AQ.
Al-Qaeda in Iraq, operating under the banner of an umbrella group called the Islamic State of Iraq, has managed to drive out Shiites from many cities and villages in Diyala. Shiites in Baqubah, who once made up about 45 percent of the population, now account for about 20 percent, said Sutherland. In March, gunmen laid siege to the Shiite village of Towakel, northeast of Muqdadiyah, burning dozens of homes, slaughtering livestock and leaving a smoldering ghost town in their wake. On wall after wall they scrawled graffiti proclaiming the village the domain of the Islamic State of Iraq.
And where did they come from?
"They just stormed in one night and started on the southwest side and started burning their way all the way up this one road," said Von Plinsky. The Shiite villagers "had defenses built up . . . but they just got overpowered. They got decimated."
As in suddenly one night after the "surge" started? The brass has deployed 2,000 additional soldiers to Diyala to fend off this growing insurgency. The problem is the AQ have better intelligence than we do and disappear before the search and destroy missions arrive. The US could send 20,000 more troops but all it would effectively accomplish in the end is to move the AQ base of operations somewhere else.

How much longer is our president going to listen to his own war drum while leaving the troops to pay the piper?

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1 Comments:

Anonymous lester said...

deomcrats need to to step up the rhetoric. harry reids was a good start, but it's no more mister nice guy time. we need open and total hostility to the presidents agenda. ron paul; had a great column today saying we had no compunction about walking in, lets walk out the same way.

proceed to level 4. level 5 being killing and eating your enemies

12:50:00 PM  

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