Monthly Archives: April 2005

An Empty Insurgency

While the Iraqi insurgency has shown an aptitude for dispensing violence, the question remains as to what exactly the insurgents and al Qaeda have to offer as an alternative political plan. Donald Sensing weighs in with an insightful post (which must be read in full), comparing the Iraqi insurgency and the strategy advocated by Carlos […]


The hunt for Zarqawi continues, while the Iraqi government moves forward in establishing the transitional government. Raids are being conducted in the town of Ramadi, and reports indicate US and Iraqi forces have sealed exits to the city. Meanwhile a Ramadi hospital is searched based on intelligence that Zarqawi was there. The search came up […]

Of Pirates and Terrorists

An often overlooked theater in the Global War on Terror is the world’s oceans, a vital highway of the globalized world economy. Al Qaeda has shown an interest in attacking shipping in the past, including the failed attack on the USS The Sullivans and the successful attack on the USS Cole in 2000, and the […]

The Net

Task Force 626, a streamlined version of Task Force 121 that captured Saddam Hussein and killed his sons, believes they are on the trail of Zarqawi. Marine Gen. Sattler divulged several weeks ago that Zarqawi was close to capture several times by the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force stations in the restive al-Anbar province, and ABC […]

The Desired Effect

Iraq’s insurgency is only as strong its local Sunni supporters will allow it to be. Without the local support infrastructure of the Sunni tribes, the foreign terrorists of al Qaeda will have an increasingly difficult time mounting effective large scale attacks against Coalition forces and the Iraqi government. Arthur Chenkoff’s special correspondent Haider Ajina reports […]

The Greatness of God?

Ansar al-Sunnah (Islamic Army in Iraq), an ally of al Qaeda in Iraq, has claimed credit for shooting down a privately owned Bulgarian Mi-8 helicopter. While the exact cause of the downing has not been determined (machinegun fire, RPG or surface-to-air missile), the most likely cause would be an RPG directed at the tail rotor […]

Desperate Taliban

Coalition forces mount Operation Vigilance in Afghanistan to preempt potential Taliban and al Qaeda offensives that may be planned for the spring. According to Lt. Gen. David Barno, the senior commander in Afghanistan, the terrorists have lost the initiative after 3 ½ years of fighting and successful elections last fall, and are “desperate” to regain […]

Camp Gannon Revisited

Two new accounts of the al Qaeda assault on Camp Gannon in Husaybah appear in USA Today and the Washington Post. By both accounts, Marine Lance Corporal Joshua Butler is due to receive some medals for his heroism in the fight. He repeatedly exposing himself to fire, and destroyed two of the suicide vehicles – […]

As Iraq’s insurgency diminishes in its ability to affect the transition to a democratic state, Al Qaeda in Iraq digs in for the long haul. Evan Kohlmann reports on the discovery of a new web site being built by al Qaeda in Iraq. This site was discovered after a mistake was made by a jihadi […]

The Iraqi Beat

The war rages in Iraq. On the military front, Coalition troops continue the hunt for al Qaeda and local terrorists and insurgents. A combined US and Iraqi task force conducted a complex raid north of Baqubah to arrest a suspected leader of the insurgency: About 1,000 soldiers of the 3rd Brigade’s 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry […]

Desperate Terrorists

Al Qaeda has followed through on its plan to attack US bases on a larger scale. The Washington Post reports that Camp Gannon, a US post on the Syrian border, was attacked by a formation of al Qaeda fighters. As stated in last week in A Change in Tactics, direct assaults on American and Iraqi […]

Driving the Wedge

The prophet’s predictions of political failure in Iraq have been discredited just over a week after being uttered. The Iraqi transitional assembly has chosen Kurdish Jalal Talabani as president, along with Shiite Adel Abdul Mahdi and Sunni Ghazi al-Yawar as vice presidents. They immediately appointed Shiite Ibrahim al-Jaafari as prime minister, and he is now […]


Iraq, as Princeton’s Michael Doran observed, was intended to be the graveyard of America’s counteroffensive against terror. Instead the enemy dug the grave for themselves. What we are seeing now is not simply the rout of a few armed men, but terror’s greatest defeat in modern times. Wretchard the Cat of Belmont Club, in Campaign […]

War in the Magic Kingdom

Saudi Arabia continues to physically battle the dragon it created, while refusing to deal with the underlying ideological problem in the Magic Kingdom – the support of the radical Wahhabi strain of Islam, the foundation of al Qaeda and the wellspring of Islamist extremism. A three day battle in the heart of the Wahhabi stronghold […]

A Change in Tactics

The recent attacks on Abu Ghraib prison provide an interesting window into the mindset and tactics of al Qaeda in Iraq. Austin Bay reports the goal of the attacks on Abu Ghraib is to amplify the propaganda effect of Abu Ghraib. No doubt this is true, as the mere mention of the name drives the […]