Darth Sadr runs to mommy

Muqtada al Sadr back in Iran

Apparently neither the US nor Iraqi forces, nor the governments that control them, are playing nicely. I continue to think that Sadr probably thought he was on the verge of victory last November, then had the (Persian?) rug pulled out from under him when Bush announced a “surge”, not a withdrawal, in January.

I’ve said repeatedly that the “surge” is, in fact, the least important part of the “new strategy”.

Going on the offensive at previous troop levels would have made a larger impact than surging additional troops to continue to sit in the FOBs and man a few checkpoints when the Iraqi government let us. So the tactics are more important that the troop levels, though more troops obviously increases the number of things you can do and your effectiveness when doing them.

But trumping both US troop levels and US tactics is the hardening of the Iraqi government (and its new army) against the Anti Iraq Forces, particularly the Iraqi militias.

The three generalized groups of Anti Iraq Forces and who will need to deal with them:

  1. Iraqi militias (like Sadr’s bunch of thugs): Mostly an Iraqi problem except for major confrontations
  2. Sunni insurgents: US problem at first, shifting more and more to the Iraqis as Sunnis join the new Iraq and remaining insurgents become more and more isolated
  3. Foreign fighters and terrorists (like Al Qaeda in Iraq): Mostly US problem, Iraqis charged with security after they’re cleared out

There’s a lot of overlap between the three groups, particularly where Iran is concerned (mostly #1 and #3), and I’ve obviously simplified it greatly. But you could do worse than look at it like this.

The Iraqi government keeps ratcheting up the pressure on Sadr’s bunch, and as more and more day-to-day security is provided by Iraqi troops, fewer and fewer thugs are motivated to fight (or even protest) the occupiers.

The surge/strategy/whatever is working. Slowly, but all counter-insurgency operations take time. We won’t even get the military’s report about how much progress has been made until September. That’s a progress report, not a go/no-go decision. The military won’t have a complete report for two months, and yet Congress has known since March or so that it’s already failed.


Sunni extremists are likely to try a series of high-profile attacks to grab the headlines ahead of a watershed report to Congress in September on political and military progress in Iraq, the top U.S. commander said Saturday.

–We expect they will try this — pull off a variety of sensational attacks and grab the headlines to create a ‘mini-Tet,’ ” Gen. David Petraeus said in an interview with The Associated Press.

The General apparently didn’t say whether he expected the media to fall for it. Murdoc knows where his money is on that one.


  1. Uh, it sounds to me like the Sunni’s have already made their move. Also, Bush blew up so many bridges with his last amnesty bill that support for the war is crumbling fast in Congress. Support for this war crumbled a long time ago with me. If we’re not going to let our guys fight to win, and we’re not going to support them at home by putting traitors in jail or in front of a firing squad where they belong, and we’re not going to defend our borders or ports, then we have no business asking someone else to put their lives on the line for us. Not that I’m not plenty grateful they will and do, but our soldiers are one hell of a lot better people than we deserve to have watching out for us.

  2. Amen A kid I used to work with was killed back in early spring when a sniper shot him in the head, though his K-pot. At first I was so conflicted about it, having originally believed in the concept behind the continued occupation. But seeing someone I know come back to a military funeral while all I saw on the news was more bombings and more anti-American rhetoric made me begin to wonder if it was all a waste. I am still not sure if its a waste or not, only history will tell. But every time I see a Pelosi or a Reid declare the war is lost in order to garner political capital, despite having voted to authorize the surge makes me want to scream. You f***ers VOTED to put these people in there, to win this godamn thing, and then wont even give them a chance to do it before using the whole thing as a political tool. The men and women we put in harms way deserve so much more than they are getting. And I’m beginning to wonder if we deserve them.