Skip to comments.U.S.: Iraqi insurgent attacks intensifying
Posted on 03/08/2007 4:19:09 AM PST by Steel Wolf
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Insurgents have sought to intensify attacks during a Baghdad security crackdown and additional U.S. forces will be sent to areas outside the capital where militant groups are regrouping, the new commander of U.S. forces in Iraq said Thursday.
U.S. Gen. David Petraeus said the troop buildups outside Baghdad will focus on Diyala province northeast of Baghdad, a growing hotbed for suspected Sunni extremists fleeing the U.S.-Iraqi security operation in Baghdad.
But Petraeus stressed that military force alone is "not sufficient" to end the violence in Iraq and political talks must eventually include some militant groups now opposing the U.S.-backed government.
"This is critical," Petraeus said in his first news conference since taking over command last month. He noted that such political negotiations "will determine in the long run the success of this effort."
Petraeus listed a series of high-profile attacks since U.S. and Iraqi forces began the security sweep three weeks ago, including a suicide blast at a mostly Shiite university and an assassination attempt against one of Iraq's vice presidents.
The Pentagon has pledged 17,500 combat troops to the capital. Petraeus has said the full contingent should not be in place until early June. He declined to say how many U.S. forces will be deployed to Diyala, which the group al-Qaida in Iraq has made one its main staging grounds.
Military officials believe many insurgents have shifted from Baghdad to Diyala to escape the security operation.
"Car bombs have targeted hundreds of Iraqis," Petraeus said. He also denounced the wave of other attacks, including the "thugs with no soul" who have killed more than 150 Shiite pilgrims in the past three days.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Then we must be doing something right.
Here's some more:
General David Petraeus, in his first news conference in Baghdad since he took command last month, also said he saw no immediate need to request more U.S. troops, but reinforcements already requested would likely stay "well beyond the summer."
"There is no military solution to a problem like that in Iraq, to the insurgency of Iraq," Petraeus said.
"Military action is necessary to help improve security ... but it is not sufficient."
He said political progress would require talking to and reconciling with "some of those who have felt the new Iraq did not have a place for them."
We are, and the insurgents are desperate. This sentiment is causing them to make more and more mistakes; the number 1 rule of guerilla warfare is to avoid alienating the population. Attacking them tends to do that...
I know, there is no military solution to Iraq. We were just supposed to buy them time to get the political solution up and running. There's still a lot of hope out there for Gen Petraeus to save the day. At best, he can just keep buying time for the Iraqi political process to jump start itself, a fact that he appears to be well aware of.