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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

War Stories

Short round up of required reading for today.

Bill Roggio of The Weekly Standard reports on the offensive underway in the Babil province of Iraq. In the heart of ancient Babylon, our boys are smashing the Enemy's networks that supply explosives and other instruments of death to their counterparts in Baghdad.

"Marne Avalanche will build on the successes of Task Force Marne’s offensive operation, Marne Torch, which began June 1 and is ongoing," Multinational Forces Iraq stated in a press release. "To date, Operation Marne Torch resulted in 1,152 structures cleared, 83 insurgents killed, 278 insurgents detained, 51 caches found, 51 boats destroyed and 872 citizens entered in a biometric identification system."

Roggio also reports on our troops take down of Iranian backed Mahdi Army cells, disrupting Iran's abilities to kill our soldiers in an underhanded and ongoing act of war against America.

On July 15, the Iraqi Army conducted several raids against the Iranian-backed "rogue Jaysh al-Mahdi" (Mahdi Army) cells in Baghdad and Najaf. The Baghdad raids resulted in the capture of a battalion commander and a cell leader. The battalion commander "is suspected of organizing kidnappings and leading death squad killings of Sunni Muslim Iraqi citizens. Intelligence suggests he has been involved in more than half of the detonated improvised explosive devices in two of the northern districts of Baghdad."
And speaking of continuing acts of war by the rogue regime of Iran, Eli Lake of the New York Sun reports on how the mullahs are giving safe harbor the core leadership of Al Qaeda, allowing them to safely reconstitute their organization so that they may continue their mad war against Civilization.

One of two known Al Qaeda leadership councils meets regularly in eastern Iran, where the American intelligence community believes dozens of senior Al Qaeda leaders have reconstituted a good part of the terror conglomerate's senior leadership structure.

Out in Anbar, previously "lost" to Enemy forces, elements of the 3rd Infantry Division (The Rock of the Marne!) are working with the local government and U.S. civilian advisors to provide security and services for the decent people of Ramadi who have for 4 years been terrorized by the blood-thirsty forces of the Adversary. Max Boot relays an email report from the theater.

Security here in Ramadi continues to improve as the Iraqi police and army forces work daily to keep the population safe. When we arrived in February, we were averaging 30 – 35 attacks per day in our area of responsibility. Now our average is one attack per day or less. We had an entire week with no attacks in our area and have a total of over 65 days with no attacks. I attribute this success to our close relationship with the Iraqi security forces and the support those forces receive from the civilian population. The Iraqi police and army forces have uncovered hundreds of munitions caches and get intelligence tips from the local population every day.

...We now have our Embedded Provincial Reconstruction Team (EPRT) and they are working hard to help build the municipal government in Ramadi. The EPRT is composed of personnel from the U.S. State Department, USAID, and other experts in various areas of government. We have partnered the EPRT with officials from the municipal government in much the same way that we partner Soldiers and Marines with Iraqi police. The EPRT works every day with the city government helping them with budgeting, planning, and delivering services to the public. The EPRT is a critical capability that we never had before, and I’m confident that it is going to make a big difference in building stability here in Ramadi.
Finally the Small Wars Journal publishes a post on the importance of winning the narrative. What will lose us this war is not the facts on the ground, which are improving. America is incapable of losing the counter-insurgency battle in Iraq. It can only lose the war over the narrative - which is, in this post modern world, the only battle that ultimately counts.

The National Review On-Line recently posted an interview with LtGen James N. Mattis, commanding general of I Marine Expeditionary Force and Marine Corps Forces CENTCOM. Mattis is widely-known for his boldness and ferocity in combat. Yet Mattis did not discuss operations. Instead, he focused on perceptions. "I noticed (in the newspaper) today that 'a bomb went off in Baghdad'... the moral bye, the passive voice by our media, makes it appear like what the enemy is doing is just an act of God of some Godamned thing...getting our narrative out will be as important or more important than tactics."


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