Battle for Baghdad: 90 Days to Victory?

#1
At the weekend, Over 130 Iraqis died in a Baghdad market attacked by bombers.

25 US soldiers were killed, 13 of them in a single helicopter crash.
No figures given for wounded, but statistically, the ratio of US and UK killed:wounded in Iraq runs at 1:7.

General George Casey, Commander of US Forces in Iraq told reporters:
"The primary purpose of the forces coming in, is to assist Iraqi forces in securing Baghdad, and that is not going to happen overnight. You are going to see some progress gradually over the next 60-90 days, but I think it's probably going to be the summer - late summer - before we get to the point where the people in Baghdad feel safe in their neighbourhoods"

Listen Again on the BBC 'Today' show HERE
BBC also reports that just over 3000 additional US troops have arrived in Iraq so far.

Is anybody out there tracking how much of the total increase in US force levels is now on the ground in Baghdad, and when it will reach its peak?
 
#3
SLRboy said:
Here is the latest from CBS on the U.S. publics view:
Just when you think they're beginning to see the light, some gems from the poll report:

Americans aren't convinced the U.S. needs a troop increase to achieve its goals in Iraq. Just 26 percent think that's needed, about the same number that think those goals can be reached without sending in more troops.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/01/22/opinion/polls/main2384943.shtml
They think there are goals :?: :?: :?:
Anyway, that's 52% of the public who are terminally deludeded in one or other of 2 ways.

On the other hand:
Forty-one percent think the U.S. can't achieve its goals regardless of troop levels.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/01/22/opinion/polls/main2384943.shtml
which is a little more reassuring: except that the terminally deluded remain in the majority - even if one half disagrees with the other!
 
#4
The following needs no supplementary comment from me whatsoever:

In another interview a week earlier, on January 14, on CBS's 60 Minutes, Bush repelled any suggestion of responsibility for error in his Iraq policy. He located the lack of public support in the United States in the insufficient thanks offered by the Iraqis. "Do you think you owe the Iraqi people an apology for not doing a better job?" asked correspondent Scott Pelley. "That we didn't do a better job or they didn't do a better job?" replied the president. "Well, that the United States did not do a better job in providing security after the invasion." "Not at all," said Bush. "I am proud of the efforts we did. We liberated that country from a tyrant. I think the Iraqi people owe the American people a huge debt of gratitude, and I believe most Iraqis express that. I mean the people understand that we've endured great sacrifice to help them. That's the problem here in America. They wonder whether or not there is a gratitude level that's significant enough in Iraq."

Source S. Blumenthal Guardian 23.1.07.
 
#5
I noticed that Troops in Iraq arrested X number of Mahdi Army members.
When I read that Sadar and X numbers have been Strung UP a'la Sadam then I'll beleive that Peace of some kind may be on the way.
john
Sorry George but ya've Blown it AGAIN.
 
#6
It seems this latest adventure is not so 'cut and dried' as it seems....
Daily Times(Pakistan)
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
?Tough days? ahead in Iraq: US general

WASHINGTON: The Army general who would carry out President George W Bush?s US troop build-up in Iraq urged patience on Tuesday and predicted ?tough days? ahead. ?None of this will be rapid,? Lt Gen David Petraeus told the Senate Armed Services Committee. ?The way ahead will be neither quick nor easy. There undoubtedly will be tough days.?

Senator Carl Levin, a Democrat, chairman of the committee and a leading critic of Bush?s Iraq policy, pressed Petraeus on whether the flow of additional US troops could be halted in midstream if the Iraqi government failed to meet its commitment to provide thousands more Iraqi troops. ?It could,? Petraeus replied.

In another development, US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph Biden predicted the Senate would overwhelmingly reject Bush?s Iraq troop plan.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2007\01\24\story_24-1-2007_pg7_31
 
#7
Re HvH post above
Maybe some very slight comfort will come when Lt Gen David Petraeus gets his feet under the table. He is the guy who has formed opinions re place of hearts and minds in what they are trying to achieve and also has a good background as Commander elsewhere in Iraq in showing these work. Even so, it is bloody dire out there, Us and the Yanks.
 
#8
OldRedCap said:
Re HvH post above
Maybe some very slight comfort will come when Lt Gen David Petraeus gets his feet under the table. He is the guy who has formed opinions re place of hearts and minds in what they are trying to achieve and also has a good background as Commander elsewhere in Iraq in showing these work. Even so, it is bloody dire out there, Us and the Yanks.
Even so, I'm pretty sure he can't achieve the concentration of US troops in Baghdad that he used in his previous command - all the more reason to agree with last 2 sentences. :sad:
 
#9
Five American Security Employees Killed in Baghdad Helicopter Attack
January 24, 2007
By MARC SANTORA and JAMES GLANZ

BAGHDAD, Jan. 23 — Five members of a private security detail protecting an American convoy were killed Tuesday when their helicopters came under attack, and one plummeted to the pavement through a tangle of electrical wires in one of Baghdad’s most dangerous neighborhoods.

The four-man crew in one helicopter was killed, and the gunner in a second helicopter apparently died when he was struck by gunfire, American officials said. The crash set off a chaotic five-hour battle in which American attack helicopters crisscrossed the skies over Baghdad and fired at least one Hellfire missile into the streets below.

It is unclear if the first helicopter, nicknamed a Little Bird because it is small and nimble, crashed as the result of gunfire, because it got tangled in the wires or as it was trying to land because a passenger was wounded. But an American military official said that at least four of the victims had suffered gunshot wounds to the head, raising the prospect that some of them had been shot on the ground.

American ground forces made their way to the crash site to retrieve the bodies and secure the area, American officials said. It was unclear what condition the bodies were in when they were recovered.

The helicopters were operated by Blackwater, the same private security firm that lost four contractors in March 2004 in an ambush in the desert town of Falluja, their bodies mutilated, set on fire and hung from a bridge. That episode led to a three-week siege of the city by American marines.

This time, the Blackwater contractors were on a routine protection detail in Baghdad, monitoring an official convoy .
In Full

Difficult to know the full picture from press snippets, but I wonder if this kind of incident is part of an Insurgent plan to hit the US in places where their army isn't.

Same paper reported around Petraeus appearnce at the Senate Committee, answering questions about when the 'surge' will max out, and troop densities in Baghdad:

Under the current deployment schedule, it will be May before all five of the brigades are in Iraq, but General Petraeus hinted that he would like them sooner, saying that he had asked the Pentagon to dispatch them “as rapidly as possible.”

General Petraeus acknowledged that the guidelines in the military’s counterinsurgency manual implied that 120,000 troops would be needed to secure Baghdad. But he reasoned that the roughly 32,000 American troops that would be deployed in the capital under the plan would be enough, because the total number of American and Iraqi security personnel would be about 85,000, while the use of civilian contractors to guard government buildings would reduce troop requirements.

If the troops are sent according to the current schedule, General Petraeus said the United States would know by late summer if the plan to clear contested neighborhoods of insurgents and militias, hold them with American and Iraqi security forces and win public support through reconstruction was working.
In Full
 
#10
If the Americans are looking for 'Victory' they know where they can find it
it's somewhere in the dictionary between the words Venereal and Virus.
 
#11
Stonker wrote:
"Difficult to know the full picture from press snippets, but I wonder if this kind of incident is part of an Insurgent plan to hit the US in places where their army isn't?"

In a word stonker...Yes.
(It's the old insurgent soft shoe shuffle - page one of the manual.)
 
#12
SLRboy said:
Stonker wrote:
"Difficult to know the full picture from press snippets, but I wonder if this kind of incident is part of an Insurgent plan to hit the US in places where their army isn't?"

In a word stonker...Yes.
(It's the old insurgent soft shoe shuffle - page one of the manual.)
I was simply struck by this following on after the young lady from the charitable foundation was killed. I suspect that there's a good many non-Iraqi civilians being attacked, but not reported in the Euro press.

It's another way to hit at the infidel, and if it happens to hit US citizens, and make the US Army look impotent, so much the better. Probably wouldn't need to be centrally coordinated: just a natural thing to do if the US troops are more difficult targets.

It's gonna be a bloody, miserable Spring, I fear.
 
#13
Of course its going to be miserable - and mad.
Remember the U.S. generals did not want a surge with extra troops a few weeks ago.
But G. Bush a draft dodging shyster who knows bugger all and cares even less insisted a surge must take place.

So now the generals are going to try and put into action a military plan that did not have its impetus originate from within the military mind.

And if in spite of this they achieve a 'victory' that 'victory' will be over the card board cut out 'democratic' government of Iraq which may very well tear itself apart under the strain.
If they crush the Mehdi army they will also have crushed the government.
In other words if the operation is a success the patient will die.

In fact if the U.S. achieved anything like the 'Victory' they rather simplistically wish for they could possibly end up back in a situation that they created when they first occupied the country when the previous regime collapsed, owning an ungoverned and ungovernable country.
Two lessons here:
You can't introduce democracy by force - and be careful what you wish for.

(Oh how the Chinese must be laughing up their sleeves at the activities of these American young fools - they have so much to learn.)
 
#14
If those who live by the sword can't stop Bush neither I suppose can those who live by the pen. Nonetheless the senators have voted against the surge that apparently has already began:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070124/ap_on_go_co/us_iraq

Can't you just smell the brown stuff as it heads towards the fan?
 
#15
'Five American Security Employees Killed in Baghdad Helicopter Attack'

Eh Stonker, is this "Air America" Rides again ?
john
I used to know a very inofensive Electronics mech, old lad wouldn' t say Boo to a Goose.
One day he just let on Oh I used to work for AA. Never took much notice until one trip to Bangkok. Chatting to an old mamasan his name came up. Quite guy says I, Huh you should have known him years ago, he was chased across the roof tops here by a girl with a gun. I asked him if it was true, he blushed and said well she was a lousey shot and only had a revolver.
 
#16
Stonker said:
I was simply struck by this following on after the young lady from the charitable foundation was killed. I suspect that there's a good many non-Iraqi civilians being attacked, but not reported in the Euro press.

It's another way to hit at the infidel, and if it happens to hit US citizens, and make the US Army look impotent, so much the better. Probably wouldn't need to be centrally coordinated: just a natural thing to do if the US troops are more difficult targets.
Normal insurgency tactics would be to hit anyone supporting the US in any fashion. This includes Blackwater ambush response teams, civil action people (whether US, UN or NGO), supply lines, interpreters etc. The press dosn't report much apart from US/UK troops and white females.

What makes Iraq a bit different is this extends to anyone of the wrong tribe/clan/sect/politics.
 
#17
Blown it, he couldn't blow a fcuking bubble that mong!
It shouldn't matter how unhinged or how ape like the presidents intelligence is, there should be advisors from all walks of life (military & politics) telling him "if we do this we are gonna fcuk up big time sir".
I have sympathy for the yank soldiers, they are the meat being fed into the mincer for no gain what so ever.
And Bush says it's all about democracy, what would he know he's never won an election in his time in the top corridoors of power.


jonwilly said:
I noticed that Troops in Iraq arrested X number of Mahdi Army members.
When I read that Sadar and X numbers have been Strung UP a'la Sadam then I'll beleive that Peace of some kind may be on the way.
john
Sorry George but ya've Blown it AGAIN.
 
#18
This is interesting.
Militias suddenly runing scared - or, something else? If something else - what?

Iraqi Official Offers Terms From Militia to Avoid Fight
By SABRINA TAVERNISE
New York Times January 25, 2007

BAGHDAD, Jan. 24 — An Iraqi official authorized to speak on behalf of field commanders for the country’s most powerful militia has approached Western military officials and laid out a plan to avoid armed confrontation, senior Iraqi and American officials said this week.

The official is Rahim al-Daraji, the elected mayor of the Sadr City district, the vast grid in the northeast corner of the capital that is the stronghold of the militia, the Mahdi Army. Mr. Daraji has met twice in the past two weeks with Lt. Gen. Graeme Lamb, a British officer who is the deputy commanding general in Iraq, said a senior Iraqi official in the office of the prime minister.

During the meetings, which took place on Jan. 17 and, most recently, on Monday, Mr. Daraji laid out a proposal from what he said were all the major political and militia groups in Sadr City, the senior Iraqi official said. The groups were eager to head off a major American military offensive in the district, home to two million Shiites, as the Americans begin a sweeping new effort to retake the streets of Baghdad.

Mr. Daraji said in an interview that field commanders would forbid their foot soldiers to carry guns in public if the American military and the Iraqi government met several basic demands, mostly involving ways to ensure better security for Sadr City. He is communicating with the commanders through a Shiite politician who is close to them.

“The task is to eliminate the armed presence in Sadr City,” he said. “To confiscate illegal weapons,” carried openly by militia members in public places.

The talks appeared to have been the first between an intermediary for the Mahdi militia and a senior commander from the American effort. The military fought the militia twice in 2004, and the militia’s leader, Moktada al-Sadr, a renegade cleric who is virulently anti-American, has resolutely refused to meet with American officials of any kind.

Even so, it was far from clear whether Mr. Daraji, who said he was not related to Abdel Hadi al-Daraji, the former spokesman for Mr. Sadr who was arrested on murder charges last week, was even able to speak for the sprawling, grass-roots militia, which, according to American military estimates, numbers at least 7,000 in Baghdad alone.
IN FULL
 
#19
If something else - what?
The preservation of their militia for the fight against the Sunni.

The preservation of their militia so Al-Sadr still has a powerful gambit to intimidate everyone else with.

I've said this over and over again , engage the Sunni, get them on our side. This whole festering rat's nest is being driven by Al-Sadr and his ilk.
 
#20
Well running scared may not be the appropriate term stonker.
After all this coming battle if it happens will be in a place where there 10's of thousands of woman and children not to mention the old and the infirm.
Lots of whom are of course related to the very people who are in the militia.

I have been given to understand that the American forces will have left all their families and the sick and infirm well back in the rear in a place called America. However I am prepared to be better informed if anyone has more detail.

(thanks for that stonker - haven't had a chance to be sarky all morning)
 

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