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Iran’s role in Iraq "getting worse" (update)
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, August 14, 2007

That was the opinion of a senior administration official today on a blogger conference call. NZ from Victory Caucus asked the question:
I had the opportunity to do a quick interview on-background with a senior administration official this morning, during which I asked one particular question about the situation on the ground in Iraq: over the recent past (3-6 months), has the negative influence of Iran (supplying the enemy with weapons, training, etc.) gotten better, gotten worse, or stayed the same?

The answer was "it's getting worse", and that it is "of great concern." In context, I was told, we view Al Qaeda as the greatest strategic threat in Iraq, but the tactical threat posed by materials from Iran is significant.

Not a surprise, I'm afraid, but clarifying to have such a confirmation...
This confirms something LTG Ray Odierno said a few days ago about Iran:

A U.S. general said on Saturday Iran had increased supplies of weapons to Shi'ite militias in Iraq to attack U.S. troops and influence debate in Washington before the presentation of a crucial report on Iraq next month.
Lieutenant-General Raymond Odierno, the day-to-day commander of U.S. troops in Iraq, said the U.S. military was changing tactics and stepping up operations against militant car bomb and roadside bomb cells known to have links with Iran.

"Because they have stepped-up support from Iran we are focusing on them a bit more. In the last three months ... we are seeing brand-new rocket launchers, mortars and mortar launchers," he told Reuters in an interview.

Iran denies meddling in Iraq and says the U.S. invasion in 2003 is the cause of sectarian strife. Iranian and U.S. officials met last week to discuss the formation of a new security committee aimed at improving cooperation on Iraq.

"I think they want us to leave Iraq. They understand what is going on politically back in the United States. In the long term they want to ... divert attention from the nuclear issue," Odierno said after touring a U.S. combat outpost in a former Iraqi army club in Baghdad's Karrada peninsula.
Odierno is of the opinion that Iran's meddling has a two-fold purpose - effect political opinion here and divert attention from their nuclear program.

Which brings me to my question to the official. Are there any indictors or intel which is pointing to what General Petraeus has characterized as a "mini-Tet" in conjunction with the anticipated September 15th report? He said to this point, he isn't aware of any, but obviously that could change fairly rapidly. I'd add, given the stepped up role of Iran lately, that's a distinct possibility and I'd wager that it would involve, at least indirectly, more help from Iran.

However, we also have been made aware of the "military momentum" the Surge has built up. This goes back to a point I've made repeatedly concerning military operation of any type. What you want to do is get inside the decision cycle of your enemy and make him dance to your tune. A good analogy is chess where you force your opponent to react in a given way to your moves, and you are always 3 moves ahead, having anticipated what he must do.

Obviously what will grab the headlines is some spectacular and bloody event or events in conjunction with some carefully chosen opportunities to demonstrate some "military" ability through attacking some key places. I still think they'll try. I have no idea if they can actually pull it off or not. Either way, however that day/week passes prior to the report, it will be a good indicator of the level of our progress since the Surge began.

UPDATE:
Brian Faughnan also has a good review of the call.
 
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This goes back to a point I’ve made repeatedly concerning military operation of any type. What you want to do is get inside the decision cycle of your enemy and make him dance to your tune.
Good ol’ John Boyd.

The question is, how do you get inside the decision-making process of insurgents and terrorists who can mostly lay low until it’s time for their "mini-Tet"? Making someone dance to your tune when you can’t reliably find him and choose the time of battle poses some obvious difficulties. It seems that Petraeus is preparing us mentally for it by getting the word out that it’s a distinct possibility, so perhaps he’s not even counting on being able to stop it from starting. What’s your opinion on that?
 
Written By: Bryan Pick
URL: http://www.qando.net
If the Iranians are kind enough to loan Iraqis explosives, the least we can do is return the favor...

In fact, if we load them on planes, we could get them there even faster than if we used tanks...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
It looks like we and the Iraq army are repaying the favor ... There are two major operations ongoing attacking the Shia militias in the south. Looks like we are inside their decision loop.
 
Written By: bill
URL: http://
The question is, how do you get inside the decision-making process of insurgents and terrorists who can mostly lay low until it’s time for their "mini-Tet"?
By continuing to search out and destroy their ability to make car and truck bombs, move freely, communicate effectively and command their various factions and functions.

Or, do what we’ve been doing in the Surge.

When you spend most of your time trying to reconstitute your command structure and restock your war materials and relocate your bomb factories, by necessity, you must spend less time attacking or planning attacks. And your ability to do so is degraded anyway.

So in the case of the Iranians, we must adapt tactics on the other end of the pipeline that put them in the same sort of situation as we have the insurgents/terrorists. That means identifying, interdicting and destroying their supply networks so there is little if anything with which to mount a "mini-Tet", even if they wanted too.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
As a modest proposal I would submit that we ought to be and mayhap ARE running SOG-V into "Indian Country" now, just as happened in Borneo, Cambodia, Laos and North Vietnam. There are disaffected Iranian groups we might provide aid to as well.

I would say that this provides the Iranians one more bargaining chip on the nuclear front as well, you shut up about our nuclear program and we’ll stop shipping EFP’s.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
there is something particularly ironic about Americans who live several thousand miles away from Iraq complaining about the intervention of Iraq’s next-door neighbor, especially when the American administration talks openly about regime change in Iran (and bloggers cheer for punitive strikes).

SAO’s speaking on background is at this point in the war plain old BS. Either the White House has the courage of its convictions, in which case the information should come out publicly, or it doesn’t, at which point it should shut up given its record.

Also, blaming "foreign agitators" whether Sunni or Shia is just a cover for our utter failure to develop a successful political integration strategy. What, Iraqis are such children that they cannot lead themselves? Closing the borders and eliminating outside influence will lead to a new Garden of Eden?

Classic disinformation. You guys are getting spun like a top.
 
Written By: Francis
URL: http://
SAO’s speaking on background is at this point in the war plain old
Tell me about it, so you will join my in requiring an investigation into leaks to the LAT or NYT concerning classified programs?
Also, blaming "foreign agitators" whether Sunni or Shia is just a cover for our utter failure to develop a successful political integration strategy. What, Iraqis are such children that they cannot lead themselves?
CPUSA received foreign funding for decades. Just because MOST people aren’t being influenced by outsiders doesn’t mean ALL aren’t and since in this case the aid is explosive in nature it’s impact is a little more dramatic.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
...it’s impact is a little more dramatic.
I understand somewhere around 3700fps minimum.

So yeah, dramatic.

It’s from a progressively evolving Iran with love, only not because we aren’t making nice to them, so says the Erb.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://tomdperkins.blogspot.com/
there is something particularly ironic about Americans who live several thousand miles away from Iraq complaining about the intervention of Iraq’s next-door neighbor, especially when the American administration talks openly about regime change in Iran (and bloggers cheer for punitive strikes).
Absolutely. I mean, so what if they’re a theocratic regime based on apocalyptic thinking and intent on getting nuclear weapons and putting millions of people at risk? So what if they commit acts of war by supplying our enemies?

Francis, honest to goodness, this "they’re just as good as us" routine from leftists never ceases to amaze me. We’re the society that invented the technology that makes it possible for this planet to support billions of people. We’re the society that saved the forces of enlightenment from two different waves of totalitarianism in the twentieth century. We’re the society that has walked away from more conquered territory than any power in history.

So, yeah, we do get to complain about stone-age thinkers who would put gladly put the freedom and prosperity of the entire world at risk to justify their own interpretation of what their God wants to happen. And if you think their opinion deserves any consideration beyond purely pragmatic analysis of what they can or would do to us, then you’re a perfect example of the self-hating westerner who lives in the most advanced society history has ever seen and completely takes it for granted because he doesn’t understand what he’s got.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Effing hell, Billy, nowhere, NOT ONCE, have I ever written, claimed or even hinted that Iranian culture is "just as good" as ours. "Call the Fashion Police" was a cute term used by my gf in the late 80’s for people who were badly dressed in public. Iran has actual fashion police who beat women who don’t follow a dress code.

but Iraq is next door and incredibly unstable. It’s plain common sense to think that Iran would seek political advantage. The fact that we appear once again unprepared to deal with this particular challenge is another testament to this country’s poor nation-building skills.

note: you are tempting me to find equivalence between Iran and the US when you write:

we do get to complain about stone-age thinkers who would put gladly put the freedom and prosperity of the entire world at risk to justify their own interpretation of what their God wants to happen

Like Jim Dobson of Focus on the Family, or Pat Robertson of the Christian Broadcasting Network?

 
Written By: Francis
URL: http://
Like Jim Dobson of Focus on the Family, or Pat Robertson of the Christian Broadcasting Network?
I agree how often these Neanderthal Godbags have advocated stoning gays, hanging teen girls who were disrespectful of authority, and stoned to death women who killed rather than be raped...And the Ba’Hai they agree no difference between their treatment in Iran and their treatment in the US.

As you say ’effing Hell Francis if you’re going to strive for moral equivalence at least choose morally equivalent groups, Jesu Christi!
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
As you say ’effing Hell Francis if you’re going to strive for moral equivalence at least choose morally equivalent groups, Jesu Christi!


Man, he really gave the game away on that one, didn’t he? I get the impression Francis is so steeped in his own moral relativism that he really doesn’t see the difference between Dobson and Ahmadinejad.

I mean, if the worst you can come up with to criticize Iran on is the fashion police, you’re bending over backwards to avoid confronting the fact that we’re dealing with barbarian and brutal religious zealots.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Let’s imagine we are in charge of making a mini-Tet happen. Here are a few of my plans/obstacles:

1. Car Bomb Campaign on Civilians: We’ve already lit up so many car bombs that we need to kill a lot, lot, lot of people to have an effect in the media. Anything under 100 will not cut it, and really, after the Samarra mosque bombings, it would have to be far more to have a visceral reaction. 1,000 dead in one day would definitely be a goal - can AQ do this while our bases are being overrun and we are on the move? Plus all those new neighborhood checkpoints, etc. Let’s bomb somewhere easier, after all, we are really just looking for a large number here for shock purpose.

"Four suicide bombers struck nearly simultaneously at communities of a small Kurdish sect in northwestern Iraq late Tuesday, killing at least 175 people and wounding 200 more, Iraqi military and local officials said."

2. Kill a lot of Americans: That would be the best mini-Tet in terms of US media and US public opinion. I think only the Shia militias could do that now, with their EFP weapons - thus Iran is handing out more. I’d say for media effect, they’d need to hit double digit US deaths for several days in a row. Ideally, if a US base could be overrun, that would be even better, but that seems to be very hard for them to do in this war. (knock on wood.) You’d think with the new small combat outposts this would be more possible.

3. Kill Crocker/Petraeus.

Now, the another speculative question is do these groups really want a Tet? Al-Qaeda for sure would like a Tet, but how about the Shia militia? Their parties are in power. Iran is supporting them. Sunnis have been fleeing Iraq. They have the oil. They have ministries...while you want the Americans to go and for them to look bad doing so, they have to worry about a US pull-out leading to Saudi intervention, etc. Their goals are not global like AQ, but national or even local. As the majority, they sort of win if we leave and if we don’t in some ways as they have electoral hopes as well.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
"Like Jim Dobson of Focus on the Family, or Pat Robertson of the Christian Broadcasting Network?"

Much as I dislike people such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, copies of Watchtower in hand, knocking on my door trying to convert me, I find it preferable to the prospect of Ahmed and Mohammed, AK-47s in hand, blowing up my entire house as a nest of infidels. I know; picky, picky.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Irony: a. The use of words to express something different from and often opposite to their literal meaning.
b. An expression or utterance marked by a deliberate contrast between apparent and intended meaning
 
Written By: Francis
URL: http://
Francis, as Jon would say, I’m not psychic enough to divine your inner thoughts, but your last remark looks to me like the standard leftist comeback when they get caught saying what they really mean and getting slammed for it: "Oh, I was just kidding!"
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Like Jim Dobson of Focus on the Family, or Pat Robertson of the Christian Broadcasting Network?
No, ’cause last time I looked, Dobson or Robertson do not command hundreds of thousands of revolutionary guards dedicated to the idea that America is Satan and willing to martyr themselves to prove the point. I’m just saying . . .
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
SAO’s speaking on background is at this point in the war plain old BS. Either the White House has the courage of its convictions, in which case the information should come out publicly, or it doesn’t, at which point it should shut up given its record.
A blogger conference call isn’t public? Did I step into some parallel universe? Last I checked, anybody can read this blog, and those bloggers can speak to anyone they wish.
but Iraq is next door and incredibly unstable. It’s plain common sense to think that Iran would seek political advantage. The fact that we appear once again unprepared to deal with this particular challenge is another testament to this country’s poor nation-building skills.
Huh? You just said "Classic disinformation. You guys are getting spun like a top." Which is it? Is it common sense to think that Iran would interfere in Iraq, or is it disinformation?

Lighten up Francis.
 
Written By: Jordan
URL: http://

 
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