10 years, 4 months ago
In Where is Anbar Headed? Where are the Marines Headed?, I cited the ABC News Report that claimed that the Pentagon officials were considering a major pullback of Marines from the Anbar Province, due in part to the most recent Devlin intelligence report covered by the Washington Post. Michael Fumento notes that the Post article stands in stark contrast to his recent experiences as an embedded reporter in Ramadi. I said in “Where is Anbar Headed” that it looked like the U.S. was either getting out of Anbar or getting serious about Anbar.
Today General Peter Pace denied reports that the Pentagon was considering a movement of Marines out of the Anbar province. Asked specifically whether serious consideration is being given to the idea of abandoning Al-Anbar to put more U.S. forces in Baghdad, Pace bluntly replied “no.” “You gave me a very straight question. I gave you a very straight answer. No. Why would we want to forfeit any part of Iraq to the enemy? We don’t,” he told reporters at a Pentagon briefing.
I believe that it is important to keep balance with respect to our understanding of the Anbar Province. Assuming that Pace is correct and that conditions and intentions don’t change, the U.S. will not abandon Anbar. I have discussed the alignment of some of the tribes in the Anbar Province with the Iraqi government and against al Qaeda, but it is also clear that these tribes cannot secure Anbar without the help of Iraqi security forces and more particularly U.S. forces.
In Coalition, Al Qaeda and Tribes Battle in Anbar and Diyala, I covered the recent battles against al Qaeda in which tribal elements participated.
On November 25, insurgents linked to al Qaeda attacked an Anbar tribe in an alliance of twenty five tribes who have vowed to fight al Qaeda. The insurgents attacked the Abu Soda tribe in Sofiya, near the provincial capital of Ramadi, with mortars and small arms, burning homes, in apparent revenge for their support of the Iraqi government. “Al Qaeda has decided to attack the tribes due to their support,