U.S. Jets Pound Iraq Guerrilla Positions

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by jimnyc, Nov 18, 2003.

  1. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    ** It's a shame that the US had no choice but to go on the offensive, but there hasn't been nearly as many US casualties since. I'm sure they'll continue to resist but their ability to do so is being hampered. And yes, more insurgents will come out and some from neighboring countries - and as long as the military stays on course they'll continue to break down the attacks. **

    TIKRIT, Iraq - U.S. fighter jets pounded suspected insurgent positions Tuesday in the largest bombardment of guerrillas in central Iraq since President Bush declared the end of major combat in May, the U.S. military said.

    In northern Iraq, guerrillas detonated a roadside bomb, wounding two soldiers, the military said. On Monday, a U.S. civilian contractor was killed in an insurgent attack near Baghdad, the military said without elaborating.

    The U.S. military has reacted forcefully to an upsurge in guerrilla activity in central and northern Iraq. On Monday, six insurgents were killed in gunbattles and 99 suspects were reportedly detained in a series of sweeps.

    Near Baqouba, 30 miles northeast of Baghdad, U.S. jets and Apache helicopter gunships Tuesday blasted abandoned buildings, walls and trees along a road where attacks have been so common that troops nicknamed it "RPG Alley" after the rocket-propelled grenades used by insurgents. Fighter-bombers dropped 500-pound bombs and tanks fired their 120mm guns at suspected ambush sites, the military said.

    F-16 fighter aircraft dropped two bombs Tuesday on insurgent targets near the town of Samara, about 60 miles north of Baghdad, the military said.

    On Monday, 4th Infantry Division soldiers also killed six alleged insurgents in the Tikrit area as they pressed their search for a former Saddam deputy, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, who is believed to be orchestrating attacks.

    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=540&ncid=736&e=2&u=/ap/20031118/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq
     
  2. SLClemens
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    "** It's a shame that the US had no choice but to go on the offensive, but there hasn't been nearly as many US casualties since. I'm sure they'll continue to resist but their ability to do so is being hampered. And yes, more insurgents will come out and some from neighboring countries - and as long as the military stays on course they'll continue to break down the attacks. **"


    This isn't analysis - this is wishful thinking. You should really work for the Pentagon. Shortly after we "went on the offensive" two choppers got downed by what looks like ground fire or dodging groundfire, killing 17. Yesterday two more of our troops were killed in seperate incidents. But this is how a geurrilla war goes. One day, just some more wounded; the next, one killed; the next, nothing; the next, 17 in a helicopter crash. One has to analyze trends over weeks if not months, and it will be months before we know whether "iron hammer" has had any effect, for better or worse. The real question I think is not so much what effect it will have on a few groups of known guerrillas as what effect it will have on the number of people who wish to be guerrillas. There is simply no easy or effective way to fight guerrillas, never has been, never will, as we're finding out the hard way, again.

    One incident that just made me shake my head was the report of bombing to smitherines a terrorist training center on a small Island in the Tigris. We know it's there so we bomb it to bits? Wouldn't we want to investigate it first? That would make about as much sense as bombing the Michigan Militia's training area after the Oklahoma City bombing. What a childish display of bravado.
     
  3. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    Sorry, you're wrong. The rate of daily casualties has been lower since they started the offensive.

    There has been no confirmation that the downing was a result of hostile fire. The point is also that the 'frequency' of attacks has been diminished. Keep in mind also that the offensive is less than a week old. There have been 10 confirmed hostile deaths since Nov 11th, and there were 17 in the previous week. Most of these were from devices pre-planted along roadways. As their offensive continues that will also diminish their efforts to be proactive in their insurgency.

    Haven't read about it so I don't know the entire story. I can assure you that no terrorists from that camp will be bothering us anytime soon though.

    You don't give them a chance to evolve, you cut off their efforts as soon as possible. These terrorists are suicide bombing and sneak attacking our soldiers and you think we should give them the benefit of doubt?
     
  4. SLClemens
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    I doubt there were any terrorists at the camp when it was bombed - if there were I think the Pentagon would be boasting of how many they killed. Even if they did kill some, how would we know whether they were terrorists or not if buildings were used by both guerrillas and civilians.

    Your week-by-week analysis is really quite humorous. We have to look at trends over months. The only fairly clear trends we can identify are that guerrilla activities have been growing in numbers and sophistocation, and the start of Ramadan brought with it a sudden increase in attacks.

    We'll soon see whether your numbers of 10/week instead of 17/week is not really 27/week instead of 17/week. If so, it still won't be possible to say whether Iron Hammer is a success or failure - it could just be guerrillas having good luck or bad luck one week. But look at what we know about the attack: the choppers were flying fast and low with lights out because of guerrilla threats. They wouldn't fly that way without an effective guerrilla threat. Maybe it was just pilot error, but even under extreme circumstances US army pilots are very good and very rarely crash because they bump into each other. Perhaps guerrilla presure got to them and one of the pilots just screwed up, but I doubt it. Anyhow, we'll soon see what the Pentagon's real assessment is.
     
  5. dijetlo
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    Historicaly, this kind of offensive may work in the short term to keep the hostiles in their holes but in the long term it is building a broader base of support for their activities. We can't maintain Iron Hammer in perpetuity so when the operation is completed, the opposition will return in larger numbers. It has the effect of radicalizing the population (The isreali occupation of the palestinians is an appropriate analogy.). The use of jets is largely for domestic consumption, it makes for good TV, we love that stuff. It also makes the administration appear like they are trying to remedy the situation (which is what they are doing).
     

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