There is scant doubt violence has declined in Iraq since 30,000 additional American troops were dispatched to that nation earlier this year. But, according to General Joseph Fil, commander of US forces in Baghdad, the progress achieved in recent months is “fledgling, fragile, and not guaranteed.” The additional troops have made it possible to maintain forces in every part of the city, but he believes the situation is far from resolved. “There is absolutely a risk of going too quickly” because leaving “before the Iraqis are truly able to take over these areas independently would be very risky, and there ares some areas in the city where, at this point, it would fail.”
There are now 160,000 American troops in Iraq, a force capable to maintaining order in major cities like Baghdad, but there are still rural areas where the situation is less stable. There was never any doubt placing thousands of American forces in Baghdad would temporarily lessen violence. The central question at all times is what happens when US forces depart? Will Iraqi soldiers be able to keep things under control? Has the Iraq government created a viable coalition of political parties which can work together for peace and stability? The answers to these questions is an unqualified, no. Are al-Qaeda and other insurgents lurking in the shadows prepared to resume violence once American troops leave? Chances are the answer is an unqualified, yes. The surge will not work until Iraq has made political strides to go along with military. A political issue for Americans is how long with people in this nation go along with a major military presence in Iraq?
Posted in George Bush, Human Rights, Iraq, Iraq War, Military, Muslims, Republicans, United States, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Baghdad, Iraq, reduce violence, Surge
The Bush initiated surge which placed an additional 30,000 troops in Baghdad has led to a reduction in violence, but Maj. Gen. Mark Hertling believes al-Qaeda has simply shifted its forces to the north in order to avoid further encounters with an powerful American armed force in the nation’s capital. “What you’re seeing is the enemy shifting” as they create a new power base. However, he is witnessing a slight decline in the overall enemy attacks since the number of road side bombs has decreased from 1,830 in June to 900 last month. General Hertling sees success in many efforts, but warns “it is still going to be a very tough fight to eliminate those terrorists and insurgents and extremists completely.”
The unknown factor in the famous Bush “surge” is the long term impact of these soldiers upon terrorist activities in Iraq. A classical guerrilla warfare strategy is retreating before strong opposing forces, and waiting until the time is appropriate for resuming fighting. At this point, no one knows for certain what are the strategies of insurgents. Unfortunately, there is not a single insurgency, but a host of competing groups who disagree with America’s presence in Iraq.
Posted in George Bush, Iraq, Iraq War, Military, Muslims, Politics, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged al-Qaeda, Baghdad, General Hertling, Iraq, northern violence
It was another typical day in Iraq, the sun was shining and Apache attack helicopters were making their rounds checking on suspicious activities in the countryside. They spotted some men who they thought were planting roadside bombs, but before they could fire on them in the open fields, the men fled to nearby houses. The Apache helicopters opened fire blasting away at the houses. After the firing ceased, five of the men they thought were the roadside bombers lay dead along with six civilians while another five civilians were wounded. A spokesperson for the military said it was unclear exactly who the roadside bombers were, but it is believed they were among the dead. She expressed regret for the death of innocent civilians, but blamed their demise on the roadside bombers.
As far as the story goes, the bombers never exploded their bombs so it is clear they were not responsible for the deaths of civilians. If five men ran into houses containing other men it is unclear how the military can determine which of the dead men were the bombers and which were not. This “minor incident” happens each day in Iraq and at the end of the day more civilians are dead and more Iraqis hate Americans. The American military offered no explanation why the helicopters could not have pinned down the bombers in the houses and called for ground forces to attempt obtaining a surrender. One last question: Are the helicopter pilots absolutely certain these men were planting explosives?
Posted in Human Rights, Iraq, Iraq War, Muslims, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Apache helicopters, Baghdad, dead civilians, dead militants, roadside bombers