Thursday, February 22, 2007

Insurgents refine tactics with new bomb methodology

The insurgents in Iraq have yet another new trick up their sleeve this week. This new development illustrates why the mightiest armed force in the world, (that would be us), has been unable to quell a few thousand guerrilla fighters in four years. It's not that they're smarter. It's certainly not that they're better equipped. It's because they're agile and able to quickly adapt to changing circumstances. While the ponderous bureaucracy of our civilian commanders ponders what would be best for the welfare of the military-industrial complex, which usually involves multi-billion dollar investments in futuristic technology, the insurgencies -- unfettered by profit-making concerns -- fight their battles with determination and creative use of whatever weaponry they have on hand.

Thus the insurgents, however they are to be defined, discovered chlorine gas is effective as a terrorizing agent. Fortunately, they're still learning how to use it so the death toll has been relatively low so far, but this tactic has great potential to do greater harm as they learn to refine their methods.

In further evidence of the insurgents growing sophistication as they learn the lessons in the training ground of Iraq, their new tactic of targeting helicopters is proving effective on multiple levels. I'm frankly surprised they didn't do more of this earlier. It denies our troops air support, it reliably makes the news cycle and it costs us almost $6 million a pop every time they take one down. It makes blowing up $140,000 Humvees look like chump change.

But the real lesson that should concern us here is that despite Bush and Co.'s repeated mantra, fighting the terrorists in Iraq is not keeping them too occupied to try another strike in the US. I feel certain there is nothing in the terrorist's manual that says you may not strike other targets as long as the US occupies a certain country.

As Kevin Drum pointed out in an excellent post yesterday, the real danger is, as the terrorists refine their urban warfare tactics such as in the use of these new chlorine gas bombing attacks, it would be a simple matter for a homegrown cell here to employ this tactic on a vulnerable target in the US. For instance a successful attack on a chemical plant or an oil processing facility, which are virtually unprotected because Homeland Security refuses to mandate any safety regulations in that regard for US industries - particularly those that contribute to political campaigns, could cause a great deal of death and destruction and cost virtually pennies to accomplish.

As Kevin points out it would cost a few billion to enhance protections for the vulnerable targets here at home, but compared to the "wisdom" of sinking hundreds of billions into the fantasy that the occupation is keeping terrorists at bay, it's a small investment in the interests of meaningful steps towards real national security.

[Thanks to Raw Story for the link]
Bookmark and Share


Anonymous Anonymous said...

U.N.: Weapons equipment missing in Iraq
Experts say 109 sites have had material removed since invasion

Joanne Farchakh / AP file

Updated: 8:07 a.m. ET June 3, 2005
UNITED NATIONS - U.N. satellite imagery experts have determined that material that could be used to make biological or chemical weapons and banned long-range missiles has been removed from 109 sites in Iraq, U.N. weapons inspectors said in a report obtained Thursday.

U.N. inspectors have been blocked from returning to Iraq since the U.S.-led war in 2003 so they have been using satellite photos to see what happened to the sites that were subject to U.N. monitoring because their equipment had both civilian and military uses.

In the report to the U.N. Security Council, acting chief weapons inspector Demetrius Perricos said he’s reached no conclusions about who removed the items or where they went. He said it could have been moved elsewhere in Iraq, sold as scrap, melted down or purchased.....

...Unknown fate
A third of the chemical items removed came from the Qaa Qaa industrial complex south of Baghdad which the report said “was among the sites possessing the highest number of dual-use production equipment,” whose fate is now unknown. Significant quantities of missing material were also located at the Fallujah II and Fallujah III facilities north of the city, which was besieged last year.

Before the first Gulf War in 1991, those facilities played a major part in the production of precursors for Iraq’s chemical warfare program...

6:09:00 PM  
Blogger nolocontendere said...

I hate to say this, but it's a reality that has to be faced.
You're absolutely right of course, Libby, that the resistance invents and adapts at a pace far faster than the occupying force. They know the foreigners' vulnerabilities very well. When the copters started coming down I realized our whole expeditionary force is in deep, deep trouble.
The US has had to rely more and more on air travel and resupply as it's far too dangerous to drive now. The resistance will cut off that ability when the sandstorms start and especially when Iran is assaulted, leaving the american forces isolated , desperate and naked. It could be a horrific slaughter as the only way out will be to fight their way hundreds of miles through tens of thousands of Shiite to Kuwait.

12:51:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Thanks for the link Anon. I'd forgotten that. One more illustration of how the invasion made us less secure, not more.

Nolo - The potential consequences of the administration's harebrained tactics are truly terrifying.

9:41:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home