Sunday, August 14, 2005

Iran linked to Coalition casualties

Iran's meddling in Iraq has already garnered some attention in the press, but Michael Ware in this week's Time Magazine, LINK, has a tour de force on Iran's involvement in Shiite Iraq:

And while top intelligence officials have sought to play down any state-sponsored role by Tehran's regime in directing violence against the coalition, the emergence of al-Sheibani has cast greater suspicion on Iran. Coalition sources told TIME that it was one of al-Sheibani's devices that killed three British soldiers in Amarah last month. "One suspects this would have to have a higher degree of approval [in Tehran]," says a senior U.S. military official in Baghdad.

And an even more chilling paragraph:

How real is the threat? A TIME investigation, based on documents smuggled out of Iran and dozens of interviews with U.S., British and Iraqi intelligence officials, as well as an Iranian agent, armed dissidents and Iraqi militia and political allies, reveals an Iranian plan for gaining influence in Iraq that began before the U.S. invaded. In their scope and ambition, Iran's activities rival those of the U.S. and its allies, especially in the south. There is a gnawing worry within some intelligence circles that the failure to counter Iranian influence may come back to haunt the U.S. and its allies, if Shi'ite factions with heavy Iranian backing eventually come to power and provoke the Sunnis to revolt. Says a British military intelligence officer, about the relative inattention paid to Iranian meddling: "It's as though we are sleepwalking."

Not my prefered translation of Sun Tzu, but the best I could Google:

Thus the highest form of generalship is to balk the enemy's plans; the next best is to prevent the junction of the enemy's forces; the next in order is to attack the enemy's army in the field; and the worst policy of all is to besiege walled cities.


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