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.