Tag Archives: US Forces

Al Qaida Bastion In Mosul Braces For War

Mosul resembles a dead city as American and Iraq troops begin their attack which is designed to crush the last remaining al-Qaida forces in the city. Patrick Cockburn, writng for The Independent, says soldiers are shooting at any civilian vehicle. Two men, a woman and a child in one car which failed to stop were shot dead yesterday by US troops who issued a statement saying the men were armed and one made “threatening movements.” The British correspondent reached Mosul in a convoy of armed soldiers who were escoting Khaso Goran, the deputy governor of the area.

Supposedly al-Qaeda is nearly defeated but no one moves around the city without being in an armored car or with military and police in close proximity. Goran, says last September ninety people were killed in Mosul, in March of this year 213 died. The real question is not whether al-Qaida in Mosul can be pushed out of the town, but are al-Qaida forces lying low and biding their time or are they really defeated? No one knows the answer to that question which can not adequately be answered until months have passed.

Afghanistan A Failing Nation Says Mike McConnell

Mike McConnell, America’s top intelligence leader, claims after six years of a US led military support of the Afghanistan government, it only control about 30% of the nation while the Taliban has 10% and the remainder is under the jurisdiction of tribal chieftains. The Afghan government denied his statement to Congress was accurate and insisted it was in effective control of “over 360″ of the country’s 365 districts. However, a recent report by a think tank headed by former NATO commander, General James Jones, concluded that “urgent changes” were required now to “prevent Afhganistan becoming a failed state.”

The United States blames European Union nations for failure to supply troops to Afghanistan, but President Bush has never acknowledged it was his mistake in abandoning the fight in Afghanistan to pursue the Iraq venture which is the major casuse for the growth of the Talibn. Senator John McCain insists America has to pursue the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq even if it takes a hundred years. These wars will not end until there are significant changes in strategy and goals.

Did The Surge Succeed- An Evaluation!

A year ago many neighborhoods in Baghdad were controlled by militant forces, but twelve months later due to more troops, new allies, and a few lucky breaks the situation is not as dismal looking. Today’s problem is how to build on whatever success ensued over the past year, but, when one examines that issue, things do not appear as bright. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, is still struggling to create a viable government and bridge differences between Sunni and Shiites. The most fortunate aspect of the surge was inept policies by al-Qaeda which angered civilians by indiscriminate suicide bombing and creating ongoing terror that disrupted normal life. Many Sunni groups turned on al-Qaeda just as the surge began which proved to be among the most important factors in achieving success.

In all, 831 American troops died during the surge although a majority of the casualties occurred during the initial six months of the operation. Iraqi civilian casualties are now closer to what they were in 2005. An unexpected factor is the role of Iran which supposedly supports the current Iraq government. Iranian agents no longer give unqualified support to the Mahdi army of al-Sadr. There is still an Iranian presence and its agents continue supporting various groups within Iraq. It has most probably thrown its support behind the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council of Abdu-Aziz al-Hakim, the nation’s most powerful Shiite leader.