Proxy Wars and Incomplete Counterinsurgency Doctrine

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 6 months ago

In The Covert War with Iran, we discussed the ongoing intelligence war and weapons trafficing in which Iran was engaging throughout Iraq and the broader Middle East, as well as the distributed operations by the Quds force.  Later in The Summer War with Iran we discussed how this would intensify due to the surge and security plan.  This intensification has occurred, as Iranian conventional forces have been seen crossing over the border into Iraq.

Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces have been spotted by British troops crossing the border into southern Iraq, The Sun tabloid reported on Tuesday.
Britain’s defence ministry would not confirm or deny the report, with a spokesman declining to comment on “intelligence matters”.

An unidentified intelligence source told the tabloid: “It is an extremely alarming development and raises the stakes considerably. In effect, it means we are in a full on war with Iran — but nobody has officially declared it.”

“We have hard proof that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps have crossed the border to attack us. It is very hard for us to strike back. All we can do is try to defend ourselves. We are badly on the back foot.”

The Sun said that radar sightings of Iranian helicopters crossing into the Iraqi desert were confirmed to it by very senior military sources.

In response to the report, a British defence ministry spokesman said: “There is evidence that explosive devices used against our troops in southern Iraq originated in Iran.”

“Any Iranian link to armed militias in Iraq either through weapons supply, training or funding are unacceptable.”

See also a related article at The Sun.  We are in a proxy war orchestrated out of Tehran, Damascus and to some extent Riyadh.  This assertion doesn’t deny that there is an insurgency created out of and supported by the disaffected Ba’athists, Fedayeen Saddam, and other criminal and rogue elements in Iraq.  But it does fill in the complete picture and highlight the international war that is occuring in Iraq.

To the extent to which there is an international war occuring, counterinsurgency doctrine, e.g., winning hearts and minds, proper governing (viz. David Galula), and even largesse, reconstruction, and reconciliation efforts, will be to no avail.  These tactics target a different element who fights for a different reason and in a different way.  Prescribing the wrong medicine is dangerous not only because it can harm the patient, but also because it can give the illusion of progress, safety and security while letting the disease grow worse.




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This article is filed under the category(s) Iran,Iraq and was published June 25th, 2007 by Herschel Smith.

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