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SWJED
04-24-2007, 07:47 AM
Bill Roggio at his Fourth Rail blog - Al Qaeda on the Offensive (http://billroggio.com/archives/2007/04/al_qaeda_on_the_offe.php).


After a relative lull in major, mass casualty suicide attacks inside Baghdad, al Qaeda in Iraq has gone on a major offensive inside the capital city. Al Qaeda's latest suicide offensive began on April 13; the last major bombing inside Baghdad was in a Shia market on March 29. Since April 13, al Qaeda has struck at 11 high profile targets inside the city limits. The targets have included the Iraqi Parliament, two of Baghdad's 11 bridges and Shia markets. Under the readership of Abu Ayyub al-Masri Al Qaeda in Iraq is proving agile in its ability to switch targets in Baghdad while continuing to strike at sectarian fault lines outside the capital. The latest campaign threats to erode the remaining support in America for the Baghdad Security Plan, which is still ramping up...

... General Petraeus does not suffer from these deficiencies. Last year's inability to redeploy Iraqi Army units have been resolved, and all Iraqi Army units have arrived into Baghdad as planned. The corrupt Iraqi National Police brigades were pulled off the line, taken apart, vetted and retrained. The U.S committed an additional five combat infantry brigades, a combat aviation brigade and supporting units to Baghdad and the outer belts. The rules of engagement were changed to give U.S. forces greater flexibility to fight the insurgency. U.S. forces are no longer operating from large bases and fighting a commuter insurgency, but instead are deploying into forward bases inside Baghdad's neighborhoods.

But Coalition and Iraqi forces must react to al Qaeda's bombing offensive, as time may not be on its side. As we've said from the very beginning, U.S. and Iraqi forces must be flexible, and quickly react to as yet unseen surprises. Now is the time to be flexible.

And at The Belmont Club - Point, Counterpoint (http://fallbackbelmont.blogspot.com/2007/04/point-counterpoint.html).


In every military operation, the enemy gets the chance to cast the dissenting vote. The al-Qaeda counterstrategy against the sure is beginning to emerge in detail...

... note especially that both al-Qaeda and the Coalition are responding to each other. The US spent a lot of effort trying to establish an Iraq government. Al-Qaeda in Iraq responded by attempting to start a sectarian war. General Casey did not respond quickly enough, or did not have Iraqi units online able to react. Petreus has amended many of the deficiencies of the Casey era. But al-Qaeda in the meantime, has amended its tactics. Strategically the goals are still the same for both camps: sectarian warfare is the object of one; a stable government the goal of the other. Tactically both sides have evolved. Can General Petreus respond decisively to the new al-Qaeda attacks? Probably. But look to al-Qaeda to up the ante in blood even further.