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.