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Baghdad Bombings Raise Anew Questions About U.S. Strategy in Iraq
NY Times ^

Posted on 09/16/2005 8:25:54 PM PDT by jmc1969

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Sept. 16 - The rash of car bombings in Baghdad this week has once again thrown into debate whether the American and Iraqi counterinsurgency strategy is working.

The explosions underscored how the loosely knit and elusive networks of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, former Baathists and other extremists still can recruit discontented Iraqis and foreign fighters to launch well-coordinated attacks, even as American and Iraqi forces stage offensives intended to root out the insurgents.

Before the latest round of bombings, one senior officer at the United States Central Command conceded that Mr. Zarqawi's organization remained "a very robust network" despite the heavily touted capture and killings of numerous underlings in Mosul, Tal Afar and other communities where the insurgents found refuge and even safe haven.

Commanders say they plan to squeeze the Zarqawi leadership and Iraqi insurgents in those areas. Throughout the spring and summer marines and Army forces staged raids into those same towns, confiscating weapons and killing scores of insurgents. But many fighters melted into the countryside, and there were not enough coalition troops to keep a sufficient presence in the villages.

Commanders say new offensives in Anbar Province in coming weeks will be modeled on the siege of Tal Afar, which used 8,500 American and Iraqi troops.

Some independent critics say that the unabated violence suggests the military has been focusing too much on hunting down and killing insurgents and not enough on providing security in population centers like Baghdad - safe zones that could spread like "oil spots," as Andrew F. Krepinevich Jr. wrote in the current issue of Foreign Affairs.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: iraq; oif
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To: citizencon

Part of the problem is that foreign money is still coming into the country. So long as they can buy the complicity of the Arab Sunnis, they will be able to do this sort of IRA stuff.

21 posted on 09/16/2005 9:11:29 PM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
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To: jmc1969

Stop telling the we're coming...
The tactics of the current military command are undermining our effectiveness in defeating these thugs.
Stop telling them what we are going to do, and JUST DO IT.

22 posted on 09/16/2005 9:34:20 PM PDT by DragonMarine (Capitalism works, but it has to be paid for. (From the halls of Montezuma...)
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To: mumps
... Absolutely. One correction though: We won the war. It's over. It has been over for almost two years. The game is not in overtime. We're not in extra innings. Please: the Iraq war is over. And we won. ....

Worth repeating.
23 posted on 09/16/2005 10:47:00 PM PDT by Joe_October (Saddam supported Terrorists. Al Qaeda are Terrorists. I can't find the link.)
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To: jmc1969

NYT- The German advance in the Battle of the Bulge calls into question if we are winning WWII and if we should shift to defensive trench warfare which successfully won WWI.

And it is FDR's fault.

24 posted on 09/17/2005 4:56:50 AM PDT by KeyWest
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To: bronxboy
...Why was the Balkan adventure not a 'quagmire'...we basically helped our enemy who are now busily unleashing jihad on the West.

Exactly. It's an absolute mess, still. However, you ain't gonna hear or read of its failure from the MSM. They gotta protect Bubba Clinton's (ahem) "legacy."

25 posted on 09/17/2005 7:56:23 AM PDT by demnomo
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To: goldstategop; jmc1969
Bunk. The strategy IS working - we are systematically depriving Al Qaeda of strongholds, safehouses and arms depots. The MSM just refuses to recognize the terror structure won't be vanquished overnight - Rome was not built in a day. As it is the enemy can blow up civilians but he cannot gain territory or strategic assets. And God willing, we will soon have him on the run.

Which was exactly the opposite of the Soviets in Afghanistan. The Soviets were unable to control territory outside of the capitol of Kabul especially after the US supplied the Afghani militias with Stinger missles.

26 posted on 09/17/2005 2:10:12 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative (France is an example of retrograde chordate evolution.)
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To: jmc1969

Intellectually bankrupt article. How could they be raised anew? The NY Times and its ilk hasn't stopped from the very beginning.

27 posted on 09/17/2005 2:11:13 PM PDT by Republican Wildcat
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