Monthly Archives: June 2005

Red Wing Down

US forces suffered a tragic blow in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan. A MH-47 Night Stalker was shot down while conducting a support mission for a special operations observation team working in the mountains at about 10,000 feet above sea level, alone in perhaps the most harsh and dangerous territory on the planet. The MH-47 […]

Flies on the paper

The Flypaper theory has come under much derision since it was proposed, but it is difficult to deny the US presence in Iraq has attracted important and hard to detect members of al Qaeda. Many al Qaeda members have been killed or captured in Iraq while to engage the US Army and Marines on conditions […]

Another Failed Attack

The insurgency tries its hand once more at a massed assault, this time on an Iraqi police station in Baghdad. Omar from Iraq The Model directs us to an article in the Guardian on the assault, and rightly points out the negative slant in the article (hat tip to Soldier’s Dad). The Guardian titles this […]

Dispatches from the Jihadi Belt

Martyrdom, Denial, Success and Reorganization The latest releases from al Qaeda in Iraq and Saudi Arabia provide some insight on the mindset of the organizations and the need to continue to communicate with the faithful on the status of martyrdom, the denial of Coalition successes and the status of the operations. The first communiqu

The Taliban’s Springtime Offensive Wilts in the Summer Heat

The Taliban and al Qaeda have stepped up their springtime offensive in Afghanistan in an attempt to thwart the upcoming elections this fall. So far the results have been abysmal. Operations in Afghanistan are netting Taliban bigwigs. Two commanders have been captured, and two more are said to be surrounded. Another has surrendered. The Afghani […]

Training Grounds, Magnets, and Hunters in Iraq

A CIA report leaked to the press indicates Iraqi is becoming a training ground for terrorists on par with or exceeding that of Afghanistan in the 1990s. This isn’t news, however, as the National Intelligence Council came to a similar conclusion in January of this year. The latest report indicates that terrorists are gaining “a […]

Abandoning Iraq (Again)

The calls for timelines for withdrawal from Iraq, as well as the drop in public support for the mission forces us to reassess the implications of leaving Iraq in the lurch prior to defeating the insurgency. In yesterday’s post “US public opinion and Iraq” , Dan Darling touches on some of the issue of the […]


The brutal acts of violence directed at civilians and Iraqi police is losing favor among some of the members of the Iraqi insurgency. During Operation Matador, we saw examples of the local tribes, some of whom are sympathetic or even participating in the insurgency, rise up to fight the foreign jihadis after their attempts to […]

A Springtime of Ops in Iraq

Over the course of the past week, Coalition forces conducted four separate battalion size plus operations in Iraq, two in Anbar – Spear in Karabilah and Dagger near lake Thar Thar, one south of Mosul in Tal Afar (Operation Veterans Forward), and one south of Baghdad – White Shield. Force estimates for Spear and Dagger […]

Operation Spear in Anbar Province

US Marines and accompanying Iraqi troops return to the Qusaybah/Qaim region on the Syrian border, and launch Operation Spear in the city of Karabilah. This region is the main hub of the southern ratline from Syria, which has been inaccurately compared to the Ho Chi Minh Trail of the Vietnam War. Spear explains the reports […]

Operation Spear

Bill Roggio at Winds of Change has an exceptional analysis of Operation Spear on the Syrian border, by making the link between the facts on the ground coupled with the larger diplomatic picture of events in Iraq.

US forces capture key Zarqawi commander

Coalition forces captured a senior al Qaeda in Iraq leader during a raid in Mosul. Following on the heals of the arrests of middlemen Abed & Raed Suleiman, Hussayn Ibrahim and Jassim al-Bazi, and 11 Zarqawi operatives in Spain, the Coalition special operations forces nabbed Abu Talha, a senior aide to Zarqawi. . Abu Talha […]

Saif al-Adel, Zarqawi, al Qaeda and Iran

News on the Zarqawi front has gone cold; however the Coalition continues its efforts to dismantle his organization by attacking the middlemen. Abed Dawood Suleiman, Zarqawi’s military aide, and his son Raed, a former captain in Saddam’s army, have been captured outside of Baghdad. Jassim Hazan Hamadi al-Bazi, a bomb maker who “built and sold […]

Few Iraqi Battalions Are Operational?

In Yesterday’s post, Training the Iraqi Army, we took issue with New York Times characterization of the Iraqi units as not being ‘operational’: The article documents the current and projected manpower in a section misleadingly titled “Few Battalions Are Operational” … It appears the author is referring to combat readiness, defined as “a unit’s ability […]

Training the Iraqi Army

The training of the Iraqi military and security services is a crucial element to the defeat of the Iraqi insurgency and the establishment of a secure Iraqi nation. The New York Times weighs in on the issue of the status of the training of the Iraqi military, and estimates it will take upwards of two […]

The Political Fight Against the Iraqi Insurgency

The current offensive against the Iraqi insurgency consists of both military and political components. Both are crucial to Iraq’s fledgling democracy, and achievement in one area spills over to the other. Military successes in securing Najaf, Fallujah and other sections of Iraq led to the successful execution of the January election. The election has led […]

The Syrian End of the Ratline

Syria’s involvement in facilitating the Iraqi insurgency has been apparent for some time. Recent intelligence indicates al Qaeda in Iraq has conducted a meeting within Syrian territory. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has accused Syria of “allowing its territory to be used to organize terrorist attacks against innocent Iraqis.” Syria responded by severing military […]

Progressing in Iraq

Operation Thunder has temporarily put a dent in the car bombings in Baghdad. Mohammed from Iraq the Model provides a situation report based on the local Iraqi media, and states “The last 24 hours or so resulted in arresting some 300 terrorists and suspects in addition to confiscating amounts of weapons.” The number of arrests […]

Ratlines in Iraq vs the Ho Chi Minh Trail

This weekend, John Burns of the New York Times again makes the hackneyed “Iraq is Vietnam” analogy (see Shadow of Vietnam Falls Over Iraq River Raids for a prior example by Mr. Burns). Iraq veteran Chester from The Adventures of Chester takes Mr. Burns to task for his inaccurate comparison, and notes the main reasons […]

Operation Thunder Rolling Along

Almost one week has passed since Operation Thunder (also referred to as Operation Lightning) was executed on the heels of New Market in Haditha and Matador on the Syrian Border. The purpose of Thunder is to secure Baghdad, then expand operations and the presence of Iraqi Security Forces into the Sunni Triangle. Evidence surfaces that […]

Zarqawi Rumorline: Dead?

Is Abu Musab al-Zarqawi dead? Adnkronos International, who was first in reporting Zarqawi was injured on May 11, reports Zarqawi died today and his body has been placed in a cemetery in Fallujah. bq. Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi – al Qaeda’s leader in Iraq – died on Friday and his body is in Fallujah’s […]

THIS is a Gulag

Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International has characterized the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay as “the gulag of our times” , demonstrating her utter lack of perspective or knowledge of history. Anne Applebaum, the author of GULAG: a History, neatly places the Soviet Gulag into the proper historical context (excerpted from a PBS interview […]