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Massive US operation begins in Iraq
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Michael Yon, who I have come to admire for his "good, bad and ugly" analysis of the situation in Iraq, is now in the thick of the fighting in the new operation just kicked off there. He says it is the biggest operation since the invasion and its going to be tough and bloody.

Yon does a review, a sort of how we got where we are today in the piece which is brutally honest. It is also not very flattering to those who have lead us up to this point. But, as he mentioned in the interview I was able to participate in on Pundit Review radio, he's now changed his mind and feels we have a chance to win this thing since Gen. David "Harry Reid thinks you're incompetent" Petraeus has taken over.

I don't remember where I read the point I'm going to make, it may have been Yon, it may have been Bill Roggio or it may have been someone else, but it can sometimes be amazing the difference a new commander makes. I've been in situations where, while at the time it didn't seem so bad, upon the arrival of a new commander and the implementation of his policies, we realize how bad it really was previously. That is what is Petraeus had done. He's changed the whole atmosphere there and it is starting to have an effect. That is what has impressed Yon and made him optimistic. And like Ernie Pyle in WWII or Joe Galloway in Vietnam, Michale Yon is plugged into this war like no other writer I know of.

So, a major operation has begun and Yon says:
Northeast of Baghdad, innocent civilians are being asked to leave Baquba. More than 1,000 AQI fighters are there, with perhaps another thousand adjuncts. Baquba alone might be as intense as Operation Phantom Fury in Fallujah in late 2004. They are ready for us. Giant bombs are buried in the roads. Snipers—real snipers—have chiseled holes in walls so that they can shoot not from roofs or windows, but from deep inside buildings, where we cannot see the flash or hear the shots. They will shoot for our faces and necks. Car bombs are already assembled. Suicide vests are prepared.

The enemy will try to herd us into their traps, and likely many of us will be killed before it ends. Already, they have been blowing up bridges, apparently to restrict our movements. Entire buildings are rigged with explosives. They have rockets, mortars, and bombs hidden in places they know we are likely to cross, or places we might seek cover. They will use human shields and force people to drive bombs at us. They will use cameras and make it look like we are ravaging the city and that they are defeating us. By the time you read this, we will be inside Baquba, and we will be killing them. No secrets are spilling here.

Our jets will drop bombs and we will use rockets. Helicopters will cover us, and medevac our wounded and killed. By the time you read this, our artillery will be firing, and our tanks moving in. And Humvees. And Strykers. And other vehicles. Our people will capture key terrain and cutoff escape routes. The idea this time is not to chase al Qaeda out, but to trap and kill them head-on, or in ambushes, or while they sleep. When they are wounded, they will be unable to go to hospitals without being captured, and so their wounds will fester and they will die painfully sometimes. It will be horrible for al Qaeda. Horror and terrorism is what they sow, and tonight they will reap their harvest. They will get no rest. They can only fight and die, or run and try to get away. Nobody is asking for surrender, but if they surrender, they will be taken.

We will go in on foot and fight from house to house if needed. We will shoot rockets into their hiding spaces, and our snipers will shoot them in their heads and chests. This is where all that talk of cancer and big ideas of what should be or could be done will smash head on against the searing reality of combat.

These words flow on the eve of a great battle, but are on hold until the attack is well underway. Nothing is certain. I am here and have been all year. We are in trouble, but we have a great General. The only one, I have long believed, who can lead the way out of this morass. Iraq is not hopeless. Iraq can stand again but first it must cast off these demons. And some of the demons must be killed.
That's the "routine", that's what is happening and that is what we'll be hearing about for the next few weeks. My prayers go with our troops as they fight and Michael Yon as he reports. He'll most likely be posting daily updates and it will be worth your while to balance what the MSM tells you with the ground truth Yon will provide.

As they say, read the whole thing and especially his points about "smart politics". Smart politics would exclude the likes of Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi. Also, if you've been following the "Death or Glory" series Yon has written about his travels with British forces, he finishes that up with part IV here.
 
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he’s now changed his mind and feels we have a chance to win this thing since Gen. David "Harry Reid thinks you’re incompetent" Petraeus has taken over.
So we now have a chance to turn a corner. Well, that’s super.
 
Written By: jpe
URL: http://
I ended my post on this with the following: "There is a lot going on right now. Until these large operations are over, expect US and Iraqi casualties to rise, as we will be in direct contact with the enemy. The enemy to fight back harder. The last throes of a dying animal, or enemy, are often the most viscous. Don’t expect to make sense of it all, or to be able to judge how things are going by any reports from here through September."

God speed to our troops...

People might also want to read what General Petraeus has to say on the surge, progress and the report he’s scheduled to give in September...

http://asecondhandconjecture.com/?p=1186
WALLACE: This week you finally got your full complement of forces in Iraq. How is the surge working so far? And to some degree, do you feel as if the operation is only now beginning?

PETRAEUS: We actually do. In fact, a lot of what we have done to this point has been so-called shaping operations for what we have just recently launched in the last 48 hours and some additional operations that we’ll launch over the next 48 or so hours.

That’s not to say that we have not used those forces as they have come in, but we just recently got the fifth and final Army surge brigade, the Marine Expeditionary Unit, and our combat aviation brigade, which add considerable combat power.

And they are enabling us now to launch operations into sanctuaries, areas in which we have had very little coalition force presence other than raids in recent years.

These are areas where Al Qaeda has established car bomb factories and other bases from which they have issued forth and then moved into Baghdad to attack targets, often indiscriminately.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com/
So we now have a chance to turn a corner.
I understand your cynicism, jpe, but other than you, no one is talking about turning any corners. This is only one battle, albeit a large one, in the "long war". Whether there’s a corner in it is yet to be determined.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
A "Great General" alone cannot end an insurgency. You know that, McQ.
 
Written By: Ivan
URL: http://
Hmm, seems to me it’s more then just ’A "Great General" alone...’

There’s those 5 new brigades, and how many new Iraqi brigades. Plus the political mandate and will from the Iraqis, both the national government and the local tribes...

In fact Yon identifies him as "The only one, I have long believed, who can lead the way out of this morass."
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com/
And notice Yon’s words "who can lead the way out of this morass" - it does not mention at all an end of the conflict but implies there is a way out and Petraeus is the only man he has seen who can lead the process.

Time and time again, military men of our history were put in place to lead the way. Grant was given power by Lincoln and in his first battle with Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was handed his ass at the Wilderness. But instead of reacting to the setback as all other leader had done previously, Grant did not retreat and allow the Army of the Potomac to lick its wounds. He maneuvered the army to the East and began the campaign that culminated in the siege of Petersburgh and ultimatley the end of the war. But that end did not come at Appomattox for almost another year. And in the year, the Army of the Potomac lost more men than in almost the previous three years of war combined.

On 6 April 1917, Wilson addressed Congress asking for a declaration of war against Germany and the Central Powers. July 3, 1917 the first American expeditionary forces arrive in France and it is not until October 1917 that US forces enter combat. But by far the most casualties suffered by the US occurred after May 1917 when the US forces began the Battle of Chateaau-Thierry which for them began the counter-offensive that led to the armistace of 11 November, 1918.

Eisenhower, Patton and Bradley led the way across Europe in 1944-45. Remember, from the D-Day landings at Normandy on 6 June 1944 to the end of the war was less than 11 months. More US casualties occurred in this 11 months than the entire war to date in the European theater of operations.

MacArthur and Nimitz led the way in the Pacific in World War Two. From August 1944 to the signing of the surrender on board the Missouri one year later, the US lost more men in that year than they did the previous three. But the campaigns of the Guam, Tinian, Pelilieu, Phillipines, Iwo Jima (2,420 US casualties the first day - 6,891 US dead by the end of this one battle), and Okinawa led the way across the Pacific to the end of the war.

All through our history, the last of a war was by far the most desperate and therefore the most deadly for US causlties. I do not expect this conflict to be any different.
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
Smart politics would exclude the likes of Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi.

ah, but "smart" politics would also exclude the current President. you engage in politics with the politicians you have, not the politicians you wish you had.

since the Al Anbar Sunni tribes have discovered that AQ is their enemy as well as ours, why do we have to do the dirty work? why not leave the country and allow them to kill off AQ?

and before we desk warriors get all hot and sweaty about the fight for Baquba, let’s remember that the purpose of the military surge is to provide space for a political solution. Is there any evidence that there is a desire for a political solution, or are the various factions just biding their time until they can fight out their differences? How’s the oil bill doing?
 
Written By: Francis
URL: http://
since the Al Anbar Sunni tribes have discovered that AQ is their enemy as well as ours, why do we have to do the dirty work? why not leave the country and allow them to kill off AQ?

and before we desk warriors get all hot and sweaty about the fight for Baquba, let’s remember that the purpose of the military surge is to provide space for a political solution. Is there any evidence that there is a desire for a political solution, or are the various factions just biding their time until they can fight out their differences? How’s the oil bill doing?
Very good points. Indeed, the Shia hate AQ even more than the Sunni tribes.

The dirty little secret no one wants to talk about is that if we left Iraq, the Sunni tribes and the Shia would make short work of AQ. It would be a bloodbath.

But no American politician - right or left - has the guts to say that out loud.

As for a political solution, there is no chance of that happening. There was a good story on NPR this morning. An interview with a tribal leader who currently resides in Jordan. He explained why AQ has become the enemy. But then he went on to explain that he wants AQ out of the way so the Sunnis can go after the Maliki government. There certainly was no talk of reconciliation. The Sunnis believe (with good reason) that the Shias running the Iraqi government are proxies for the Iranians and that the current Iraqi government must therefore be destroyed.

Only an idiot would believe that the Sunnis are going to reconcile with the Shia. To the Sunnis, the Shia are the Iranians and vice versa. You might as well ask the Sunnis to convert to Christianity.

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
The dirty little secret no one wants to talk about is that if we left Iraq, the Sunni tribes and the Shia would make short work of AQ.
Like AQ was wiped out in Afghanistan before 9/11? Or how the Paks have made "short work" of AQ in the last few years?

You keep asserting that if we left, then "AQ would be wiped out" as if that were fact, but it’s merely your opinion and I don’t see a shred of evidence to back it up. I put it in the same category as your "Nifong is being smart" opinion. We now know how that one turned out.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Like AQ was wiped out in Afghanistan before 9/11? Or how the Paks have made "short work" of AQ in the last few years?
Both countries are overwhemingly Sunni. Iraq, by contrast, is majority Shia. To AQ, Shia Muslims are as heretical as Christians. And the antipathy goes both ways. Just who do you think is blowing up all the Shia mosques in Iraq?That you can’t see the ethnic ethnic distinction between Iraq on the one hand, and Afghanistan and and Pakistan on the other speaks volumes.

When we leave, the Shia militias will dominate. If you think they are going to allow AQ to roam around Iraq unchecked, you got a screw loose.

Just look at AQ’s efforts in Lebanon. Their chief rival there is Hezbollah.

The problem with those who want to stay in Iraq is that they fail to understand the nature of the various rivalries in Iraq. The backers of the continued occupation for some reason do not or cannot understand that the dominant Shia are bitter enemies of AQ, and vice versa.

Of course, for now there is no reason for the Shia militias to go after AQ. We are doing that for them. (Of course, why in the world we are doing the bidding of the Iranians in Iraq is a whole other subject.) So if you don’t think that the Shia militias would, once we left, hunt down and kill the terrorists who are blowing up dozens of Shia on a daily basis, you really need to explain why. As far as I can tell, you have no explanation.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
So are the Shia and Sunni actually fighting in this, against AQ, or are they just sitting back and not doing anything (as you claim MK.)
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Without a major change (a 180 degree shift) in the (Politically Correct) Rules of Engagement (PCROE), it’s all just farting into the wind.
 
Written By: Sharpshooter
URL: http://
Like Ridgway in Korea, Patton in Europe, or Sherman here in America, Petraeus might just be the right man at the right place at the right time.
 
Written By: TallDave
URL: http://semirandomramblings.blogspot.com
Of course, for now there is no reason for the Shia militias to go after AQ.

The Shia militias aren’t sitting on their hands now, they’re rounding up Sunnis and executing them. Notice they aren’t particular about targeting AQ.

So if you don’t think that the Shia militias would, once we left, hunt down and kill the terrorists who are blowing up dozens of Shia on a daily basis, you really need to explain why.

Because their solutions are much simpler and bloodier than ours; again, they don’t target AQ, they target all Sunnis. Given their head they would exterminate or drive out all the Sunni Arabs in Iraq, or at least do their best to try. That would likely mean hundreds of thousands or perhaps even millions dead.

Then the Sunni countries would step in, then perhaps Iran, and then things would really get fun.

 
Written By: TallDave
URL: http://semirandomramblings.blogspot.com
Only an idiot would believe that the Sunnis are going to reconcile with the Shia.

Tell that to all the Shia and Sunni who live in mixed families and all the Sunnis who are joining the Shia-dominated government.
 
Written By: TallDave
URL: http://semirandomramblings.blogspot.com
I had enjoyed visiting your site, please check mine paragraph695
 
Written By: Testerfnc
URL: http://testerfgl.com

 
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