10 years, 1 month ago
Pat Dollard gives us an interesting rundown of what he calls the 11-point plan for victory in Iraq submitted to the White House, Pentagon and State Department (which he claims has been confirmed by sources both inside and outside the military). I highly recommend that you spend some time reading the full eleven points, but I want to call out three specific points and comment on them.
1. U.S. troops are to be gradually pulled back from all Iraqi cities and towns and sent to seal the borders with Iran and Syria. The real insurgency is not indigenous to Iraq, but being pumped in through Iran and Syria.
2. Ramadi and Baghdad will be two of a handful of initial principle exceptions, as major U.S supported military engagements are in process in Baghadad (sic) and gearing up in Ramadi.
6. A massive assault is shortly due to be launched on Ramadi, the capital of Al Qaeda, and the remnants of the Sunni Insurgency, in Iraq. Ramadi has degenerated to a sort of post-modern trench warfare, Marines and Soldiers locked away in a variety of new urban outposts, while all the schools have finally been closed and it is nigh on impossible for the average citizen to conduct his daily life. The deadlock must be broken, and Al Qaeda must finally be ejected.
Beginning first with point number six, in my article Watching Anbar, I said:
I have been watching the al Anbar Province for most of the Iraq war, and I beg to differ with the U.S. generals. I believe that however Anbar goes, so goes the war. The key to Iraq is the Anbar Province. While Anbar remains unpacified, insurgent groups (al Qaeda in Iraq, Ansar al-Sunna, etc.) can continue to split the tribal loyalties in the region with some tribes siding with the insurgents and others siding with the government in Baghdad. This is done not only by propaganda, but by intimidation of the tribal leaders and violence perpetrated on their people.
This is a clever way to effect force multiplication. The insurgents not only have their own military and personnel assets with which to conduct guerrilla operations, they coax and cajole others to join them in the fight. This way, tribes fight tribes in internecine war throughout the Anbar Province, ensuring that the insurgents are free to continue their guerrilla operations against coalition forces. This tactic was successfully used by the Viet Cong in the war in Vietnam.
Being freed to continue guerrilla operations, in addition to attacks against coalition forces, the insurgents can conduct death raids against Shi’ite elements, ensuring a response by Shia militia, which ensures a counter-response by more insurgents (including some tribal elements), and so the cycle goes.
Really, this description is somewhat incomplete, and in recent article The Covert War with Iran, I filled in the blanks. Not only is AQI and AAS fomenting a sectarian war by attacking the Shi’a, but Iranian intelligence assets are doing so as well by directing death squads to do the same to the Sunni. Ramadi is home to all manner of rougue elements, and must be pacified for OIF to succeed. It is one side of the fulcrum, the other being Baghdad.
While much was made of the tribes taking up the war against AQI and AAS, I was skeptical, calling the tribes “recruits” and saying that if they end up being useful, it will be only after a protracted time. Dollard echoes this concern in point number seven of the plan, saying “We will be “firing