Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Good news and operational energy in iraq

http://tank.nationalreview.com/post/q=ZWFmZGZlYzc2YzY5MDllMzc0OGVhNTczY2VlMGJjMDk= W Thomas Smith, 13 August 2007 AL TAQADDUM — There is so much more to the story of Iraq — specifically Al Anbar — that I've yet to have time to get into here at "The Tank:" Good news about amazing progress that I can't wait to explain once I begin my more detailed NRO stories over the coming weeks. There is also quite a bit of ongoing operational energy in this region of the country. Yesterday, for instance, one of the 13th MEU patrol bases just down the road from where I was positioned — and operating out of — was hit by the "mujh." It was basically a drive-by, but with lots of automatic weapons fire. We returned fire. Thankfully, no casualties. Returning to TQ, I rode in the "rover" vehicle: Basically, a convoy security vehicle that races up-and-down the length of the convoy, blocks road intersections as the convoy passes, and is responsible for tactically responding to any portion of the convoy that gets hit. Because the bad guys also read what we write, there is so much I am not able to disclose about what we are doing out here, how we do it, and what we know the enemy is up to. What I can say is that his ability to combat us is degrading: Less military grade munitions in the make-up of his IEDs. More homegrown, fertilizer-based explosives, which are just as deadly, but proof that he is running out of stuff. Also, the "Anbar Awakening" — the big turnaround here where the local community leaders, the sheiks, etc. are rejecting the blood and murder-tactics of AQI — is taking a serious toll on the mujh, who are desperately trying to regroup in the desert or falling back toward Baghdad where they are running up against our surge forces. The insurgency is still strong here. But I can tell you from all the evidence I am seeing, the snippets of tactical intel I am sometimes privy to, and the strategic impact of "the surge," the enemy's days are numbered. And this is not a new thing. This is a product of our effective counterinsurgency efforts since at least as far back as 2005. All I can say at this point is; don't let the likes of Harry Reid kid you. This war is far from being "lost" ... unless he is able to force the hands of the guys who are winning.

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