Operation Spear

Operation Spear began today in Iraq.  I highly recommend Bill Roggio’s piece at Winds of Change.  The whole piece is well worth reading to get a good grasp of this important assault near the Syrian border.  However, this portion of his analysis speaks volumes as to how the US and Iraq are progressing in dealing with the insurgent terrorists:

"The operations in Anbar must also be looked at from a political perspective as well. The coalition struck a serious (but not fatal) blow to al Qaeda with the capture of Abu Talha. The terrorists continue to lose their appeal with the Iraqi people. The Iraqi Assembly has successfully completed negotiations with the Sunnis to participate in creating the Constitution, generously ceding 15 seats on the committee to a party that boycotted the elections. Negotiations with Sunni groups at the national level and the local level (particularly in Anbar) are accelerating, as the government attempts to offer the Sunnis an option to end the violence and participate in the government. The Iraqi Army is making the long, uphill climb towards becoming an effective fighting force, and is increasing its participation in combat operations against the insurgency."

This type of summary is often missing in the MSM.  There is progress in Iraq.  Operations such as Spear, Matador and New Market are further diminishing the insurgents ability to kill Iraqis and terrorize the citizens of the cities they corrupt. 

Our prayers and support are with the US and Iraqi forces who are engaged in an important battle.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

Are you a dedicated reader of FDD's Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.

18 Comments

  • vucommodore says:

    Bill Rice,
    What exactly are you smoking?? Can I buy some? Iraq is getting more violent, not less violent. No progress is being made. Attacks and casualties are both way up. Iraq is moving further away from stability and Bill Rice is moving further away from reality. The only thing that’s coming closer is either a withdrawal under fire or the draft. Republican lawmakers are even beginning to call for the withdrawal.

  • Bill Rice says:

    Trolling again vucommodore? You are entitled to your opinion, but history and US resolve will in the long run prove your opinion myopic. Until then, happy trolling to you.

    Time will be the ultimate judge, not the platitudes of Congressmen, political pundits (myself included) or arm-chair critics (yourself included). The German army was rather spent at the Battle of the Bulge, but gave the 101st a hard time in the Ardennes and for a short while appeared to have taken the offensive. A weak opponent can often appear strong at the end prior to its collapse. Ask the Soviets.

    I missed your comments on France. I missed your comments on China. Is Iraq all that gets your blood boiling?

    Kind regards,

    Bill Rice
    Fourth Rail

  • GK says:

    The position of phony leftists like Vucommodore :
    1) Bush LIED! He knew there were no WMDs and HE LIED! This was obvious to us leftists, of course.
    2) Saddam Hussein may have used WMDs to kill Iranians and Kurds before, but he fully dismantled 100% of those weapons since. We believe him. Why would he lie? It is absolutely NOT possible that someone like Saddam is lying. Someone who is an enemy of the US could not possibly lie or do anything else wrong. Saddam kills innocents, therefore Saddam = Good.
    This is the brain-dead through-process of leftists like Vucommodore. Bush lied (even when he didn’t), but there is no chance that Saddam lied – he simply is not bad enough to do such a thing.

  • leaddog2 says:

    GK,
    Why waste your time on vucommodore type trolls? They are not intelligent enough to understand you.

  • GK says:

    I like reminding them of their utter inadequacy and inability to compete in the Darwinian world that we live in.
    Think of what it must be like to be a leftist : they are relegated to the Internet where they can spew their brain-dead fanaticism and hide from direct questions. In real life, they are terrified of ever having a debate, because in real life they could not simply ignore direct questions. Hence, they spend more and more time on the computer and less interacting with real people, and thus become increasingly looney and ignorant.
    I’d rather be dead than live the life of a leftist. No wonder they are so bitter..

  • Enigma says:

    Perhaps Leftists like Vucommodore should take note of what Wretchard wrote at The Belmont Club:
    Sixty years ago, Richard Tregaskis chronicled the Marine struggle in the Southwest Pacific in Guadalcanal Diary, a place later to become known to the Japanese as the “Island of Death”. It was not American firepower that convinced the Japanese that they would lose; they knew about that firepower already. It was that they learned, for the first time, that the Americans wouldn’t give up. It was that they were not ready for.

    The terrorists have taken dead aim at the American center of gravity. Imagine their surprise that America isn’t giving up the fight. Imagine how surprised the Left is, too.
    Like a wounded animal, the terrorists are fighting desperately, and viciously, for a victory they cannot win. If we persevere, we will win, because the WOT is America’s to lose.

  • vucommodore says:

    GK: If leftists are unable to compete in a Darwinian world, then why did all the richest states in the country vote for Kerry and all the poorest ones vote for Bush?
    Bill Rice: I didn’t have any comments on France or China because I agreed with what was posted. I’m not “trolling”. I’m simply questioning the rationale that says that “progress is being made” in Iraq. There’s absolutely no evidence of any kind to support this when the number of attacks have been going up and not going down. What makes my blood boil is statements like this that have no basis in fact. 99% of the country realizes that Iraq is a difficult situation and making progress has been challenging and if you don’t realize it, I seriously question your intelligence.

  • Chris says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how quickly both the left and the right can slide into kindergarten style fingerpointing and name calling, and forget what it was they were originally debating. I believe the original question here was weather the the situation in Iraq was improving or worsening. As a Naval Intelligence Officer I see the raw numbers everyday. These numbers are presented in many ways, total number of incidents (per day/week/year), number of VBIED attacks (suicide or not), number of IED attacks, numerical insurgent strength, number of weapons caches discovered daily, estimated insurgent immigration and many more. You can do a lot with numbers, but no matter how you cut it, ALL of these number have steadly increased for the last two years right up to this week. And the insurgents technological capabilitys continue to improve with more and more sophisticated IEDs, VBIEDs and roadside bombs that can defeat our electronic contermeasures. So, from my point of view the situation has been steadily worsening for two years.

  • Justin B says:

    VU- why did all the richest states vote Democrat? Let’s think about this for a second… Does that mean that the people that are making money are voting Democrat? Take a straw poll of CEO’s and Senior Execs in almost any company and they are overwhelmingly Republican. So it seems that masses that live in states where the CEO’s and the businesses also happen to be located tend to vote Democrat, but that is because they want to get as much as they can from the pocket of the Rich Man.

    And another thing–white males voted over 60-40 for Bush over Kerry. White Women were closer to 55-45 in favor of Bush. Minorities voted overwhelmingly for Kerry. And low and behold, most minorities live in Urban areas. So please explain how these ethnic minorities and urban poor are the reason that these counties and states are the “wealthiest”. This is the constituency of the Democratic Party, not the average American and most certainly not the American Businessman.

  • Justin B says:

    Chris,

    I respect the logic of why you think things are worse. But I point to the fact that the million Iraqis killed under Saddam over the last 20 years would tend to say that from their perspective–you know looking up from their dirt laden mass graves–things in Iraq are getting much better.

    I tend to look at the GDP growth of Iraq and the fact that GDP has more than doubled in two years. And I also look at the South of Iraq that is relatively peaceful. It fares far better than the Suni Triangle or the Mosul area.

    Also, you cannot look at Iraq in isolation. Many of the most violent terrorists are coming from other places, so for every terrorist that comes to Iraq for Jihad, it leaves Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan or Chechnya or France or Germany or the US or Pakistan or “other” that much safer. If you want to make the argument that our presence in Iraq is creating terrorists at a much faster rate because it makes them hate us worse, I say get a grip. How can they hate us any worse? I think we saw in Lebanon that our presence in Iraq has a profound positive effect on the citizens and I also think our presence in Afghanistan has a profoundly positive effect. So you have to weigh both sides.

    Make the argument that we should not be in Iraq becuase it is inciting the Arab world to Jihad against us… please tell me how it is getting worse than Jetliners crashing into buildings, totalitarian regimes slaughtering their own citizens and invading their neighbors, and the Taliban’s brutality on citizens and women. How could what we have done in Iraq makes things worse than what happened in 2001? Explain how we would be better off doing nothing than trying to liberate Iraq from Saddam. I just am not sure I understand you.

  • Enigma says:

    Justin B,
    The problem as I see it is making the mistake of judging success or failure in Iraq by the intensity of the fighting. We’ve already dealt with this before, but we’ll do it again. Compare the intensity of the fighting at Pearl Harbor to the intensity of the fighting at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. By the standard of measure previously given, we were obviously losing WW2 by 1945.
    The real measure of progress in Iraq has to do with the accomplishment of our objectives. Looking at the raw numbers of insurgent attacks does not provide the complete picture. We need to look at the reconstruction projects being completed, the buildup of the Iraqi military and police forces, and the political progress the Iraqis are making towards establishing democratic self-rule. These are the true measures of progress.
    We need perspective, everyone. We need to spend a little less time complaining about Iraq not being a perfect place, and a little more time reflecting upon how much better Iraq is today than under Saddam. Ask the Iraqis themselves. They’ll tell you that is indeed progress.

  • Chris says:

    Justin B,
    I am not looking at Iraq in Isolation, the numbers for Afghanistan have steadily climbed as well with the exception of this last winter, which was the result of the worst winter their in 15 years. Also, I never said that we should not be in Iraq, I never said we are creating terrorist, please do not put words in my mouth. Finally, the idea that being in Iraq creates a battlefield for the war on terror makeing the rest of the world safer is just plain wrong as is evidenced by the world wide increase in terror activities in the same locations you named. Train bomb in Chechnya/Russia, VBIEDS in Iran, and arrests in CA and Spain all just in the last couple weeks.

  • vucommodore says:

    There is some correlation between wealth and likelyhood to be a Republican even though it is not guaranteed at all. The whites of Mississippi tend to vote Republican. The whites of Massachusetts tend to vote democratic even though they have much more money than the Whites of Mississippi. Millions of people vote against their own self-interest in every election. Also, American Jews who are the wealthiest voting group vote 80% democratic.

  • Justin B says:

    VU– I believe that it was you that said that there was a correlation between the wealthy blue states voting Democrat. You were trying to make a point above. Perhaps you would like to rethink it.

    And by the way, my numbers were off.

    As President Bush’s polling numbers falter, Democrats are beginning to salivate over the prospect of winning the November elections. So everyone is asking, what is the demographic group that holds the key to election success?

    The answer: white men, who represent a whooping 45 million of the total U.S. electorate.

    So by the time the 2000 elections rolled around, only 36% of white men voted for Al Gore, compared to an impressive 60% for George W. Bush. To Democratic pollsters like Celinda Lake, that was a demographic disaster. During the 2002 mid-term elections, white men came through again, handing Republicans control of the Senate.

    First, white men are likely to be the primary breadwinners for their families. They view higher taxes as an obstacle to their ability to be good providers. An ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 70% of men favored smaller government, but only 48% of women believed the same way. So men are far more likely to view big government as part of the problem, not the solution.

    Despite all the consciousness-raising by Celinda Lake, the Democrats have made no headway in bringing white men back into the fold. According to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, John Kerry is stuck with exactly the same numbers as Al Gore: 36% of the white male electorate.

    As to Mass–Here are some stats for you to chew on.

    The numeric change in Massachusetts’ non-Hispanic White population from 1995 to 2025 ranks as the 48th largest gain among the 50 states and District of Columbia. In the same period, the non-Hispanic African American population change ranks as the 21st largest gain…The Hispanic population change ranks as the 9th largest gain.

    During the 30 year period, Massachusetts’ non-Hispanic White population shrank by a rate of 5.1 percent. The non-Hispanic African American population grew by 59.5 percent…and the Hispanic population grew by 163.7 percent. Among the 50 states and District of Columbia, the rate of growth for non-Hispanic Whites ranks 49th largest. The non-Hispanic African American growth rate ranks 17th largest. …The Hispanic growth rate ranks 9th largest.

    Yep, you are right. The white voters in Mass keep getting bluer, but guess what, they are moving out of Mass to states with lower tax rates. The numbers bear this out. Leave the Liberals in charge completely and it drives the white folks out. There is no other state as Blue as Mass and guess what, there was no other state to have a net population decrease between 1990 and 2000 except Mass.

    They have Gay Marriage, Abortion on Demand, and all of the other social programs and high taxes that the Liberals advocate and guess what, people are leaving in droves because they cannot afford the property and income taxes that are used to subsidize programs for the poor. But funny thing is that black and Hispanics are coming to Mass left and right.

    The social programs and high taxes are good for someone. It is not the working class tax payer though. And again, this is the constituency the Democrats play to.

    Now, please enlighten us with your demographic knowledge of how smart white folks vote Democrat. Rich white folks vote Republican, and smart white folks don’t live in Mass if they can at all avoid it since the Liberals like Kennedy and Kerry have raised taxes so high to subsidize their “Big Dig” and social handouts that they are fleeing to Red States. I want you to explain it some other way than that.

  • Justin B says:

    Chris,

    I understand that you may not have said these things, but they are the standard party line of the left. I think that your numbers are wrong. As to Afghanistan and Iraq, it is tough to compare today’s numbers to the numbers in 2000 or 2001 when totalitarian regimes murdered their citizens and no records were kept.

    But I disagree with your premise that the world is getting more dangerous because of Iraq. On the contrary, the attacks are up out of desperation. Sleeper cells cannot sleep anymore. Terrorists are on the run. And the uptick is not a bad sign, but rather a good sign, just as the Battle of the Bulge was not a bad sign, but rather a desperate act demonstrating the inability to do anything other than try to create as much chaos and doubt as possible in an overwhelmingly superior enemy.

  • Chris says:

    Just so you know…
    I am not a member of the left.
    My numbers are directly from the military commanders on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Saying that the attacks are out of desperation, although possible, is an assumption. There are no ‘facts’ to back it up.
    Constantly comparing our actions to those of more evil regimes past and present, is not proper justification. One can always find someone more evil and more wrong past and present. The horn of Africa is a terror hotbed. No one is occupying Somolia.
    Don’t misunderstand what I say. I support our troops and the war on terror and our presence in Iraq. I would probably like to see us in Tehran and Damascus as well, but as strong as we are, we still can not police the entire world.

  • vucommodore says:

    It’s common knowledge that most rich people vote in their own self-interest and want to pay lower taxes.
    My point was that not all of them do because many wealthy individuals are very educated and socially progressive. If say 40% of the most successful people in society vote Democratic, that would debunk the myth that people who are liberal are only liberal because they want handouts. The richest part of the country (The Northeast) is the most liberal and upper-middle class Ivy-League types in these areas tend to be very liberal. Jews are also overwhelmingly liberal even though low taxes would be in their self-interest. My point is that not being able to succeed in Darwinistic society is not why people are liberals. Belief in social freedom, a clean environment and the fact that a more equal society that ensures that the most people have purchasing power is best for the economy in general.
    That said, according to traditional definition, I’m not really a “liberal”. I’m more of a “libertarian”. I believe that economic freedom and personal freedom should not be opposing values. On this war, I’m a “liberal”. On other issues such as taxes, size of government, etc., I could be classified as a “conservative”.
    I don’t think increasing numbers of attacks can be classified as “desperation”. If it was one day or increased attacks, it could be but there seems to be a trend of increasing violence over the entire 2 year period. This doesn’t mean that they’re going to win but it sure doesn’t bode well for a quick victory. So now what? If we withdraw, we give a victory to terrorism. If we stay, we continue to bear heavy casualties and huge costs and may fight for many years if not decades.
    The best idea would have been not to have gone there in the 1st place! I think this war has definitely weakened the United States and emboldened terrorists. The reason I think this is that, after the war in Afghanistan, the US military looked invinsible and impossible to defeat. It was a force to be reckoned with. Now, the enemy is in a position where they can inflict casualties and are continuing to do so. That itself is making the United States military look weak because after 2 years the enemy is still not defeated and has not even bee diminished. This whole situation is making people like Bin Laden think that they might actually have a chance to defeat the United States.

  • 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment returns from Anbar

    The 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment began arriving back at Camp Lejeune on 16 September, after a seven month deployment in Anbar province, Iraq. In February the unit was deployed to the Iraqi-Syrian border, where they took part in three major comba…

Iraq

Islamic state

Syria

Aqap

Al shabaab

Boko Haram

Isis