Re(2): 'U.S. intercepts al Zawahiri to al Zarqawi memo', The Security Watchtower, Mixed Humor
Re(3): 'Training the Iraqi Army - Revisited, Again', The Fourth Rail, Bill Roggio
Re(4): 'Iraqi Troop Strength', The Security Watchtower, Mixed Humor
The following is a comment I wrote in the Belmont club responding to legit concerns of another commenter. I am thinking that smart people are hearing the hum and chant of song deep in the tunnels of the ballpark:
1) AQ is hurting enough in Iraq to be willing to change its tactics. Obviously due to the combat losses but evidently due to the Muslim reaction to their butchery.
It will be difficult to change the dynamics in Iraq. The only opportunity that I can see is in the Iraq/Iran border region where the Brit have been playing the ‘soft’ hand. I think that the Brits are changing tactics as I write. I do not think al-Zarqawi has much influence in that region.2) They are patient. Much more so than are we. Knowing full well that no matter how many young jihadis die for their cause, new generations and half generations of their willing minions are being redied in the madrasses of Pakistan and Iran.
We have been patient for 4 ½ years. President Bush is a doggedly patient man – see the caterwauling about the Supreme Court nomination. See the effect the caterwauling of the 2004 election had on our activities – minimal at best. See the recent polling in the Middle East. Note that our valiant and brilliant enemy has WRITTEN into his enemy list the nation states that support his terror campaign. That was a terrible mistake.3) They still have a chain of command in place. Nothing like the structured environment of western armies but authority from top to bottom nonetheless.
The fact that we apparently got the message and al-Zarqawi didn’t signifies a rather weak chain of command. Zarqawi’s response via media outlets demonstrates the same. The fact that Zawahiri is asking for support and information likewise points to something.To those who seem to think this is a realpolitik conflict, and thus we will bail out ASAP and leave the region to strong men with a gangster mentality please note: We have been in the fight for 4 ½ years. Zarqawi has no influence in the north or south or east of Baghdad. His influence is rapidly degrading in the riverine region to the west of Baghdad. His bosses have just placed a long term challenge to his regional state sponsor. And, the Iraqi government – with a military trained by the best martial force in the world – is threatening that same state sponsor with repercussions. And, oil exports are now consistent and to levels approaching pre-1991 levels. And, most importantly, Zarqawi is being heavily out recruited mano-i-mano.
The Fat Lady is singing.
Unlike most leaders, President Bush will press the effort of eradicating al-Zarqawi’s structure completely. There will be nothing left of it. At that point, with a battle trained Iraqi military, do you find Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and the southern ‘insurgents’ to be the strong horse? I would hate to be them. You have to know when you are winning so you can start planning your next battle in the Global War on Terror.
Thus, there is a bit of background hum to this battle, there is some serious practicing in Baghdad, and there is a full throated roar in Afghanistan. None of this ends the Global War on Terror!