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05 October 2006


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more tidbits from Professor JC at juancole.com

the insurgent snipers are getting more accurate. U.S. deaths are increasingly from small arms fire instead of I.E.D''s. (could have something to with urban character)

Sen Warner is in town (baghdad) and he is not the sipping Kool-Aid.

The robert lindsay blog keeps up w/ the Afghan war.

Best Wishes

Got A Watch

According to many sources, the number of attacks in Iraq has risen to the rate of one every 15 minutes lately. Unofficial estimates put the Iraqi death rate due to the violence at about 50-60,000+ per year. By any measure, the "military misadventure" has been a total failure on every level (NIE anyone?), yet this simple truth has failed to puncture the Republican "veil of stupidity" that they wear like a hajib.

There are simply no good solutions for America except complete withdrawal from Iraq. When troops pull out of one area to go "pacify" another, attacks seem to rise in both - attacks against Iraqi government and opposing sectarians rise when the troops go, and rise against the troops as they attemtpt to "regain control" of a new area. I would guess the only areas in Iraq under "conrol" are those within 50 yards of a major base, or inside the "Green Zone" - the moment the last Stryker turns a corner, the area just vacateed is "out of control" again. To regain "control", IMHO more than 500,000 troops would be needed, and they would still fail against a hostile civilian population and incompetent native government. The only thing left to determine is how to "Declare Victory" and get out while not harming the Republican chances in '08.


the Col. had pointed out the vulnerability of the U.S. Irak occupation forces ground supply train which originates from Kuwait and is not easily replaced by air.

The Achilles Heel would come into play as the Iraki Shia would relatiate against U.S. action against Iran. But it could also be Israeli action against Iran because Israel which is financed and supported by the U.S. is seen as a U.S. proxy.

The Wasington Times columnist reporter Arnaud deBrochgrave has written that the strike against Iran would come with Israeli ballistic Arrow missles.

Now the respected Gertz Washington Times Column inside the ring echoes that

" Iran option
A former Navy intelligence officer weighs in on how the world will stop Iran from building nuclear bombs:
"I really believe the Israelis are going to strike [Iran's] several uranium processing factories soon. They cannot survive a first strike. This time, unlike when they sent eight F-16s to destroy the Iraqi reactor Osirak, I think they will use the Jericho missiles and the submarine-launched, nuclear-tipped Tomahawks to do nuclear strikes. Most of the factories are 150 meters underground and too deep for bunker busters."

If a Nuclear Israel uses Nukes against a non-nuclear Iran acting within its non-proliferation treaty rights, it's likely the Shia in Irak will retaliate against U.S. forces.

there will be exposure elsewhere.

I hope somebody would have the good sense to redeploy before that happens.

Best Wishes


"Americans tend to think of Arabs as not knowing much about the USA. It is my first hand experience that they know much more about us than we know about them." - Abu Sinan

That jives with my experience of many years of overseas travel. Folks in other countries know a lot more about us than we know about them. IMO, partly as America is the behemoth superpower and we in general believe that the world ends with our borders. Note the atrocious level of geography and history that our kids come out of school with.

"The threat of terrorism isn't persuasive enough to keep up the 'threat' level to justify a 'perpetual war for perpetual peace'." - confusedponderer

That's an important observation. I believe the American public feels that way in greater numbers as our Iraq misadventure continues. However, the politicians in DC aren't there yet primarily as they are afraid of being painted weak and because the American public can be easily manipulated. Another jihadist attack even if it is a botched attempt will be used to ratchet up the fear factor. However, America is not ready for personal sacrifice. As long as it is someone else's kid fighting they seem to be willing to support more military responses. Interesting contradiction, since no one has been able to successfully counter that our current approach to eliminating the jihadists is not working and we need another strategy.



I doubt insurgent attacks are geared to the electoral cycles here in the US. Most of the increased US casualties appear to be in Baghdad, where the US has recently increased the number and aggressiveness of its troop patrols. Commentators also predicted heightened attacks over Ramadan. (I never understood that. Wouldn't that be a time for a little peace?)

There is also the recent " Atiyah" letter from Al Qaeda to Zarqawi which spoke of "prolonging" the war as being a good thing. Maybe the Al Qaeda wing of the insurgency wants us to stay for a while.

Also what would electing a few democrats in congress do for ending the war. Bush is still in charge for another two years and he's vowed not to leave. Plus we're all infidels to the Jihadis, and the democrats are probably viewed as no better than the republicans when it comes to our terrorism/Iraq policy.


I am afraid I have a darker projection than the increase being tied to the U.S. election cycle or Ramadan. Instead, I think it is a reflection of the increasing skills, experience and confidence of the insurgents.

For example, I would imagine that the Hamas "success" (call it what you will) in Lebanon has done wonders for the insurgents confidence. I would also expect that Hamas (being a caring and sharing organisation;)) may be sharing some tips and tricks with the Iraqis.

My bleak assessment is that it is the insurgents who are going to decide when we leave, they are going to push us out, or kill everyone where they stand, all 147,000 or so.

I expect the tempo to slowly increase, the next phase being mortar and rocket attacks on FOB's followed by IED ambushes when we belatedly start trying to push the enemy out of range by increased patrolling.

Keep in mind the "tooth to tail" ratio in the worlds greatest army. For every infantryman ther would be about nine or ten support personnel - medics, dentists, cooks, mechanics, torturers - that sort of thing. So of that 147,00, maybe only 20,000 - 50,000 or so are actual combat ready troops.

My concern is that if things heat up a little more, it is us that is going to be in trouble, especially if the insurgents get a sufficient supply of MANPADS and so on.

We could easily end up with a "negotiated redeployment" (translate surrender) or worse, a rout and a sauve qui peut every man for himself race to the Syrian, Jordanian, Saudi or Turkish border.

Here is a thought - and what happens if we have declared war on Iran?


"In 1920, when it successfully quelled a major Iraqi insurgency, Britain had one soldier in Iraq for every 23 locals. Today, the United States has just one soldier for every 210 Iraqis."
Ferguson / Foreign Policy Sept '06

As I observe our troops scurry from one sniper shooting to another ied event... dieing, overworked and underpaid, I am stunned by the moral incapacity displayed by our military leadership. Don't they realize how history (& their children!) will measure them? What shame - heroes of the pentagon's hallways.

John Howley

I agree with Walrus that the enemy is improving. As evidence for that one only needs data showing a constant level of enemy effectiveness. After all, our guys are improving too -- modified equipment, more experience, better training. So the enemy must at least be matching our effort. The question then becomes who will outpace whom?

What's true of all war also applies to irregular warfare --- military technique advances "hothouse-style." This is one of the reasons why the Brits decided to stop their war with the IRA...both sides were getting better and they didn't want to experience the consequences on their home turf.

Techniques of irregular warfare, like designs for heavy armor and airplanes, are readily transferred to interested parties and cannot be "undiscovered."

I would submit that it is not in the national interest of the United States to "force-feed" the development of irregular military technology. But that is precisely what we are doing in Iraq.


All Posters,

Here is an update on casualties


Retired Gen. McCaffrey was on the tube last month and said basically the same thing. The monthly wounded plus killed amount to a batallion a month of casualties. To be sure, the lightly wounded return to duty shortly, as in other wars, but with the ones that don't, it is no time before your unit is worn down to where it cannot properly function as a unit (company, batallion).

Von Rumsfeld said in March that the Iraqi forces would handle any civil war if it manifested itself. Dollars to donuts that one half of the 300+K that were trained are AWOL or on leave. The ones remaining are Insurgent spies or place holders for various militant factions.

The enemy has a vote (not only at the ballot box); someone should tell the leadership.


Hello again to all,

This casualties posting has probably had rigor mortis set in, but here goes anyways.

A team from Johns Hopkins (researchers epidemiologists) have produced a survey stating that some 655,000 Iraqis have died violently since our invasion/liberation???

They state that 30% or so can be directly atributed to US forces. From Juan Cole's site today


comes analysis that these numbers make sense. A good read. Here is the USA today story,


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