Archive for June, 2007

Michael Yon has a new dispatch out of Baqubah.

Drilling for Justice

On 19 June American forces sealed off Baqubah and began attacking targets within the city. The immediate goal of Arrowhead Ripperwas 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. There are conflicting signals about how many of the AQI leadership escaped before Arrowhead Ripper launched. This weekend’s capture of a possible high-value target in Baqubah indicates that not all AQI leaders successfully fled the city before the attack.

More.

Michael Yon has a new dispatch from Baqubah. He is with the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.

Arrowhead Ripper: Surrender or Die

Battle for Baqubah
22 June 07

First a quick media round-up. (This is not all inclusive.)
Alexandra Zavis from Los Angeles Times is down in the heat of the battle bringing home information. Michael Gordon from New York Times is still slugging it out, and his portions are accurate in the co-authored story, “Heavy Fighting as US Troops Squeeze Insurgents in Iraqi City.”target=”blank” (Long title.)

More.

Michael is in the thick of it and reporting it like it should be reported.

The NY Times (Michael Gordon) also has an article on this battle:

U.S. Seeks to Block Exits for Iraq Insurgents

BAQUBA, Iraq, June 19 — In more than four years in Iraq, American forces have been confounded by insurgents who have often slipped away only to fight another day. The war in Iraq has been likened to the arcade game of whack-a-mole, where as soon as you knock down one mole another pops up.

Even though it is the NY Times, I do have respect for this reporter as well. He is in the thick of it, not sitting in an air conditioned hotel.

Michael Yon reports.

Operation Arrowhead Ripper: Day One

The first day of operation Arrowhead Ripper was intense. The Army is giving full access to the battlefield, and while on base full access to the TOC (HQ) which means I see the raw truth on the ground, and as it feeds through the TOC. They are hiding nothing. Or if they are, it’s in plain view. (Special operations notwithstanding.) A reporter can see as much as he or she can stand.

More. 

A little Thin Lizzy for the boys…

Guess who just got back today?
Them wild-eyed boys that had been away
Haven’t changed, haven’t much to say
But man, I still think them cats are crazy
They were asking if you were around
How you was, where you could be found
Told them you were living downtown
Driving all the old men crazy

The boys are back in town
The boys are back in town

Give ‘em hell boys.

Badger 6 discusses counterinsurgency ops.

The Reality of Counterinsurgency OPS

AS things progress here in Iraq and as the situation changes there become new things to criticize and critique. Some of that of course is perfectly appropriate, however some of the criticism also demonstrates the fundamental lack of understanding of the nature of counterinsurgency operations.

In war, generally the goal is not to kill everybody on the opposing side. Rather the goal is to make the losses too painful for the other side to continue to absorb and otherwise make them feel that resistance is a futile effort.

More.

This next entry is from Small Wars Journal. Educational.

We introduce two articles by Don Vandergriff (Raising the Bar: Creating and Nurturing Adaptability to Deal with the Changing Face of War) on the importance of adaptability in our military leaders with an excerpt from Chapter 5 (page 5-31) of the Army and Marine Corps Counterinsurgency (COIN) Manual.

Learning and Adapting

When an operation is executed, commanders may develop the situation to gain a more thorough situational understanding. This increased environmental understanding represents a form of operational learning and applies across all Logical Lines of Operations. Commanders and staffs adjust the operation’s design and plan based on what they learn. The result is an ongoing design-learn-redesign cycle.

More.

MULTI-NATIONAL CORPS – IRAQ
Release Number: 07-01-03P


BAGHDAD – Multi-National Corps-Iraq launched major offensive operations, Operation Phantom Thunder, June 16 in a powerful crackdown to defeat extremists in Iraq.

With the surge of U.S. forces complete, simultaneous operations throughout Iraq are focused on rooting out al-Qaeda terrorists and other extremist elements in order to provide security and stability for all Iraqis.

This coordinated effort includes Operation Arrowhead Ripper aimed at eliminating terrorists operating around Baquoba and the Diyala province. The operation has killed at least 30 al-Qaeda terrorists and netted numerous caches containing assault weapons, grenades, rocket launchers and large and small caliber ammunition and explosives.

Operation Fardh al-Qanoon in Baghdad continues to hunt elements of al-Qaeda and illegal militias. These missions are dismantling illegal support networks and capabilities that allow the enemy to move personnel and weapons into the city and stage attacks. This effort has also proven successful in the killing or capture of key leaders and cell members who belong to extremist groups.

To the southeast of Baghdad, Operation Marne Torch is focused on the clearing of extremist sanctuaries located in the Arab Jabour area. Four insurgents have been killed and more than 60 detained. In addition, 17 boats were destroyed, significantly disrupting insurgent operations on the Tigris River.

In Al Anbar, Coalition Forces continue to work with Iraqi Police and Iraqi Army forces by engaging insurgents and al-Qaeda elements in more rural areas. These operations are helping to interdict the enemy along the belts between Baghdad, Fallujah, Ramadi and the cities of the Western Euphrates River Valley to support the larger Baghdad security plan.

Be Not Afraid

Posted: 19 Jun 2007 in Military, Politics

Michael Yon has two new posts over at his site.

 Be Not Afraid

“In the short time since Petraeus took charge here, Anbar Province – “Anbar the Impossible” – seems to have made a remarkable turnaround. I just spent about a month out there and saw no combat. I have never gone that long in Iraq without seeing combat. Clearly, some areas of Anbar remain dangerous—there is fighting in Fallujah today—but there is also something in Anbar today that hasn’t been seen in recent memory: possibilities.There are also larger realities lurking up on the Turkish borders, but the reality today is that the patient called Iraq will die and become a home for Al Qaeda if we leave now…

…But as I write these words, the explosions—cannon fire reverberating day and night, rockets exploding on base, the rumbling and crumpling sounds of car bombs—are the very pulse of this war. This war cannot yet be dissected because it still lives– wounded, angry, thrashing on the table, but alive. We can only hack into it, diagnose it, treat it, knowing each attempt at a cure affects the pulse. Doing nothing causes tachycardia. Much of what afflicts Iraq was here before America was born. But when we elected to perform surgery on this sick land, we used hacksaws and sledgehammers, and took an already sick patient and hacked off some parts while pulverizing others.”

 He has also concluded his four part essay, Death or Glory Part IV.

“Few things are as reliably deceptive as appearance. If one of our jet pilots must eject, he might land out here among someone’s camels. I recall an officer talking about one of our helicopters crashing in Mosul, where local Iraqis were the first to the scene, and tried to help our people. Of course, sometimes the opposite occurs. The point is these people who live different lives and have different religions are not all out here plotting ways to kill us.”

In case you missed the other three parts:

Death or Glory

Death or Glory Part II of IV

Death or Glory Part III of IV

I recommend that you read them all. 

Be Not Afraid is especially an important read. 

Incompetence

Posted: 14 Jun 2007 in Politics

Harry Reid.

incompetence1.jpg

Reid’s latest BS.

Blackfive has more.

You ever wonder what it is that goes through the mind of a moron? Just pay attention to the crap that Harry Reid and his ilk spew forth from their cock holsters and you’ll know.

The idiocy of the left knows no bounds. 

Happy 232nd Birthday!

Posted: 14 Jun 2007 in Military

Happy Birthday US Army!

Since its birth on 14 June 1775—over a year before the Declaration of Independence—the United States Army has played a vital role in the growth and development of our Nation. Soldiers have fought more than 10 wars, from the American Revolution through the Cold War, the Gulf War, to the current War on Terrorism. This 232nd Birthday is a recognition of The Army’s history, traditions, and service to the Nation, a Call To Duty, 232 Years of Service to Our Nation.

Boots on the ground!

Hooah!!

Shamnesty

Posted: 13 Jun 2007 in Politics

Michelle Malkin has a scathing report on this issue about deportation.

Go read it here.

How They See it.

Posted: 13 Jun 2007 in Politics

Wondering how the Iraqis look at their situation? Read this.

Our Common Struggle

America had its civil war. Why expect freedom to come easy to Iraq?

BY NOURI AL-MALIKI
Wednesday, June 13, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

BAGHDAD, Iraq–Americans keen to understand the ongoing struggle for a new Iraq can be guided by the example of their own history. In the 1860s, your country fought a great struggle of its own, a civil war that took hundreds of thousands of lives but ended in the triumph of freedom and the birth of a great power. Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation signaled the destruction of the terrible institution of slavery, and the rise of a country dedicated, more than any other in the world of nation-states then and hence, to the principle of human liberty.

Our struggle in Iraq is similar to the great American quest, and is perhaps even more complicated. As your country was fighting that great contest over its unity and future, Iraq was a province of an Ottoman empire steeped in backwardness and ignorance. A half a century later, the British began an occupation of Iraq and drew the borders of contemporary Iraq as we know them today. Independence brought no relief to the people of our land. They were not given the means of political expression, nor were they to know political arrangements that respected their varied communities.

Under the Baath tyranny, Iraqis were to endure a brutal regime the likes of which they had never known before. Countless people were put to death on the smallest measure of suspicion. Wars were waged by that regime and our national treasure was squandered without the consent of a population that was herded into costly and brutal military campaigns. Today when I hear the continuous American debate about the struggle raging in Iraq, I can only recall with great sorrow the silence which attended the former dictator’s wars.

It is perhaps true that only people who are denied the gift of liberty can truly appreciate its full meaning and bounty. I look with admiration at the American debate surrounding the Iraq war, and I admire even those opinions that differ from my own. As prime minister of Iraq I have been subjected to my share of criticism in that American debate, but I harbor no resentment and fully understand that the basic concerns of Americans are the safety of their young people fighting in our country and the national interests of their society. As this American debate goes on, I am guided and consoled by the sacred place of freedom and liberty in the American creed and in America’s notion of itself.

War being what it is, the images of Iraq that come America’s way are of car bombs and daily explosions. Missing from the coverage are the great, subtle changes our country is undergoing, the birth of new national ideas and values which will in the end impose themselves despite the death and destruction that the terrorists have been hell-bent on inflicting on us. Those who endured the brutality of the former regime, those who saw the outside world avert its gaze from their troubles, know the magnitude of the change that has come to Iraq. A fundamental struggle is being fought on Iraqi soil between those who believe that Iraqis, after a long nightmare, can retrieve their dignity and freedom, and others who think that oppression is the order of things and that Iraqis are doomed to a political culture of terror, prisons and mass graves. Some of our neighbors have made this struggle more lethal still, they have placed their bets on the forces of terror in pursuit of their own interests.

When I became prime minister a year and a half ago, my appointment emerged out of a political process unique in our neighborhood: Some 12 million voters took part in our parliamentary elections. They gave voice to their belief in freedom and open politics and their trust imposed heavy burdens on all of us in political life. Our enemies grew determined to drown that political process in indiscriminate violence, to divert attention from the spectacle of old men and women casting their vote, for the first time, to choose those who would govern in their name. You may take this right for granted in America, but for us this was a tantalizing dream during the decades of dictatorship and repression.

Before us lies a difficult road–the imperative of national reconciliation, the drafting of a new social contract that acknowledges the diversity of our country. It was in that spirit that those who drafted our constitution made provisions for amending it. The opponents of the constitution were a minority, but we sought for our new political life the widest possible measure of consensus. From the outset, I committed myself to the principle of reconciliation, pledged myself to its success. I was determined to review and amend many provisions and laws passed in the aftermath of the fall of the old regime, among them the law governing de-Baathification. I aimed to find the proper balance between those who opposed the decrees on de-Baathification and others who had been victims of the Baath Party. This has not been easy, but we have stuck to that difficult task.

Iraq is well on its way to passing a new oil law that would divide the national treasure among our provinces and cities, based on their share of the population. This was intended to reassure those provinces without oil that they will not be left behind and consigned to poverty. The goal is to repair our oil sector, open the door for new investments and raise the standard of living of Iraqi families. Our national budget this year is the largest in Iraq’s history, its bulk dedicated to our most neglected provinces and to improving the service sector in the country as a whole. Our path has been made difficult by the saboteurs and the terrorists who target our infrastructure and our people, but we have persevered, even though our progress has been obscured by the scenes of death and destruction.

Daily we still fight the battle for our security. We lose policemen and soldiers to the violence, as do the multinational forces fighting along our side. We are training and equipping a modern force, a truly national and neutral force, aided by our allies. This is against the stream of history here, where the armed forces have traditionally been drawn into political conflicts and struggles. What gives us sustenance and hope is an increase in the numbers of those who volunteer for our armed forces, which we see as proof of the devotion of our people to the stability and success of our national government.

We have entered into a war, I want it known, against militias that had preyed upon the weakness of the national government and in the absence of law and order in some of our cities, even in some of the districts in Baghdad, imposed their own private laws–laws usually driven by extremism and a spirit of vengeance. Some of these militias presented themselves as defenders of their own respective communities against other militias. We believe that the best way to defeat these militias is to build and enhance the capabilities of our government as a defender of the rights of our citizens. A stable government cannot coexist with these militias.

Our conflict, it should be emphasized time and again, has been fueled by regional powers that have reached into our affairs. Iraq itself is eager to build decent relations with its neighbors. We don’t wish to enter into regional entanglements. Our principle concern is to heal our country. We have reached out to those among our neighbors who are worried about the success and example of our democratic experiment, and to others who seem interested in enhancing their regional influence.

Our message has been the same to one and all: We will not permit Iraq to be a battleground for other powers. In the contests and ambitions swirling around Iraq, we are neutral and dedicated to our country’s right to prosperity and a new life, inspired by a memory of a time when Baghdad was–as Washington is today–a beacon of enlightenment on which others gazed with admiration. We have come to believe, as Americans who founded your country once believed, that freedom is a precious inheritance. It is never cheap but the price is worth paying if we are to rescue our country.

Mr. Maliki is prime minister of Iraq.

Very well said Mr. Maliki. Very well said indeed.