The Logistics of Winning

From Needlenose


In Juan Cole’s news roundup this morning, he notes:

CSM [the Christian Science Monitor] writes on new counter-insurgency efforts by US in Iraq. The article points out that such efforts depend on good intelligence on the enemy. I’m not sure how we are going to get that.

In fact, there’s been extensive discussion in the blogiverse the past few days over an article detailing how awful U.S. intelligence is in Iraq, with CIA staff unable to leave the Green Zone (or American military bases) because it’s too unsafe.

By contrast, the people we’re trying to impose our will on in Iraq have intelligence like this (more via Laura Rozen):

The armored sport-utility vehicles whisked into a government compound in the city of Karbala with speed and urgency, the way most Americans and foreign dignitaries travel along Iraq’s treacherous roads these days.

Iraqi guards at checkpoints waved them through Saturday afternoon because the men wore what appeared to be legitimate U.S. military uniforms and badges, and drove cars commonly used by foreigners, the provincial governor said.

Once inside, however, the men unleashed one of the deadliest and most brazen attacks on U.S. forces in a secure area. Five American service members were killed in a hail of grenades and gunfire in a breach of security that Iraqi officials called unprecedented.

As the New York Times notes:

The sophisticated attack hinted at what could be a new threat for American troops as they start a fresh security plan centered on small bases in Baghdad’s bloodiest neighborhoods, where soldiers will live and work with Iraqi forces. Military officials have said that one of their greatest concerns is that troops will be vulnerable to attack from killers who appear to be colleagues.

I guess you could call the Karbala attack a shot across the bow — and a brutally effective psychological strike that will only increase the paranoia of Americans everywhere in Iraq.

Read all of it here.

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