Two bloggers on Iraq
Omar at Iraq the Model makes some interesting observations from experience:
Just an hour ago I heard of another series of bombings, also in Baghdad and the news reports are talking about 5 new car-bombs that went off mostly at police and army checkpoints a short while before curfew time was there.Rick Moran of the Right Wing Nuthouse:
I was afraid that this would happen but I was also hoping it would not…unfortunately yet not surprisingly it did.
I think the problem with the new security operation is that the tactics employed so far are not new and were not adjusted in a way to meet the needs of the changing security challenges and its worst weakness is that it focused on fixed checkpoints.
My guess is that the terrorists/insurgents were frightened by the size of the operation and the amount of troops deployed but they were able to check the pulse of the new security measures and adjust accordingly, thus was the period of relative calm we had in Baghdad during the first two or three days between Wednesday and Friday.
The terrorists apparently were able to study the geographic distribution of checkpoints and a)find safe routes to move around and carry out their attacks without passing through checkpoints, and b)make the checkpoints themselves targets for their attacks.
I will not say Forward Together has failed as it's still early to make judgments but we will be waiting for the next phases of the operation which is the announced plans to disarm the city and attack the terrorists in their safe homes because that is the way to reduce violence.
Having checkpoints is a good idea, but these checkpoints should have no fixed places or schedules. On the other hand fixed checkpoints can be very helpful at the entrances and exits of Baghdad and these should be fortified enough to sustain themselves and repel possible attacks.
Americans back then knew the Generals, knew the battles, knew what taking Caan meant to the invasion, knew that Operation Market Garden could shorten the war – they knew all these things because they had a living, breathing, stake in ultimate success or failure of our troops.
And that’s the huge difference between then and now. Where George Bush has failed miserably as President is in not offering to make the American people full partners in this conflict, sharing the sacrifices and giving all of us a stake in the outcome. It doesn’t matter very much that most Americans know little of military history or how to read a map. What matters is that the burden of sacrifice has fallen on so few of us. Part of this is a consequence of having an all volunteer, highly professional army. But while most Americans “support” the troops, they have no personal stake in the success or failure of our war policy.
I’m not sure how he could have or should have done this. I know that after 9/11 he could have tried. Congress, the press, the people were all with him. If this is truly a war for our survival – and I am absolutely convinced that it is – then our Commander in Chief has done a piss poor job of making the war our number one national priority. He has, in fact, tried to do the exact opposite. He pushed his domestic agenda, hoping that the war would drift off the front pages, forgotten by all but the families of our military who bear the bitterest fruit from this strategy. It is they who wait anxiously for their loved ones to come home.