The Battle for the Border III

The Battle for the Border continues. On the heels of last Friday and this Tuesday’s air strikes and tribal fighting, Marine attack aircraft pound a train station being used as an al Qaeda weapons storage depot and headquarters last evening. Marine Captain Jack Pool emails “Over the past two days, numerous reliable sources have observed approximately 50 Al Qaeda (AQIZ) terrorists staging weapons at a train station to be used in continued attacks against local Iraqis and coalition forces.” According to the military press release, “Marine F/A-18 jets dropped precision-guided 500 pound bombs on the target after “numerous reliable sources” saw about 50 al-Qaida-linked insurgents using the facility.”

It is clear the U.S. military is working very closely with the Albu Mahal tribe, is gaining good intelligence, both human and electronic, and there is an ongoing offensive taking place to target al Qaeda fighters in the region.

The use of precision-guided munitions indicates a certain degree of sophistication with air and ground teams. The 500 pound bombs are either laser (GBU-12) or GPS (JDAM GBU-30) guided weapons. Due to the nature of urban combat and the media fallout from civilian casualties, it is highly likely U.S ground teams are working directly in conjunction with the Albu Mahal tribe in gathering intelligence, identifying the safe houses, and directing the weapons on target, much in the manner U.S. Special Forces operated with anti-Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.

The air strikes and tribal combat in Qaim and Husaybah is another operation in the Anbar Campaign (details), except this unnamed operation has a twist. The Albu Mahal tribe is acting as the ground forces, which by nature are permanently stationed in the area. If the Coalition is careful in its approach, and provides combat support, follow up reconstruction aid, and government support, the Qaim region can be the first instance of a clear and hold operation on the Syrian border – without the need for U.S. Marines to provide for the main brunt of the combat power.

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

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49 Comments

  • This is HIGHLY encouraging!
    This sounds a lot like the campaign in Afghanistan close work with indiginous forces and population led to a quick defeat of the Taliban. While it will not be as quick as Afghanistan this is a very good sign of things to come.

  • Greg says:

    I don’t know how I got here but I’m glad I did. Finally some Real news from ‘over there’. Apparently we have a daily news digest that truly informs. Thanks for your heads up on what’s going on. This is the good news we NEVER hear of.

  • vucommodore says:

    Why are we talking about Iraq? There a war going on on the streets of New Orleans.

  • GK says:

    Vu,
    Yes, but this blog is about the war on terror. Katrina is a natural disaster.
    But let me ask you this :
    Why are so few other countries offering supplies, manpower, and even money to the US in our time of need? When there is a natrual disaster elsewhere in the world, we not only contribute with our military and our foreign aid, but are criticized for not helping fast enough.
    Where is the aid from France and Germany towards the victims of Hurrican Katrina? China wants to be a superpower, so why not act like a superpower and provide 50,000 aid workers to help us?
    This is a huge double standard, and is the real story behind H. Katrina.
    So, what do you have to say about that, V’dore?

  • vucommodore says:

    Believe it or not, France is planning to offer aid.
    //www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,168129,00.html
    The world is going to help. I could be wrong but I’m pretty convinced of this.
    I know we offer relief to other countries quickly but that kind of troubles me. It seems like US government aid got to Indonesia quicker than it is getting to Louisiana.

  • vucommodore says:

    the Italian military is sending C-130 airplanes full of food and supplies to Louisiana. I don’t know of other examples as of know but I’m sure other countries are actively helping.

  • vucommodore says:

    Germany has also expressed their intention to help

  • GK says:

    Are these large amounts of aid, or just token amounts? I am just asking, and would be pleasantly surprised if the aid quantities are sizable.
    Where is China, though? If it wants to be a superpower, it has to start acting like one. Maybe money is not what we need from them, but manpower could certainly be helpful, of which they have a lot.
    What about Mexico? Would they do something helpful for us, FOR ONCE?

  • moradali says:

    Looks like the quantity of suicide bombings, insurgent firefights, and other terrorist activity in Iraq has diminished in the past month. Even the number of IED attacks seems to be down. No doubt this has something to do with the political wrangling going on in Baghdad, and the Sunni’s desire to participate in the October and December elections.
    Security is the foremost issue in Iraq. Any victories in the western areas translate directly to improvements in the security conditions of Baghdad and the sunni areas south of Baghdad.
    I sense a lack of desire and initiative by the Jafari government in taking the Iraqi army into these trouble spots. I figure that they (SCIRI and Dawa, and certainly Sadr) do NOT wish to have a central army in the first place, because it would delegitimize their own Badr and Mahdi militias.
    The first thing Khomeini did in Iran 1979 was to disband the army, down size it, and reconstitute it with his own agents. Even today, the Iranian army is a secondary force, subserviant to the Islamic Guards.
    In some ways, chaos and insecurity plays to the hand of SCIRI and Dawa. It will put pressure on the US to let go and evacuate faster.
    Only the Iraqi army can stop an outright take over of power by SCIRI/Dawa/Badr on the one hand, Sadr and Sunni Islamists on the other hand, and promote a constitutional state.
    This is a long term project. Is the US ready to ride it out in the long run? Would it be a good idea to develop a nationalistic Iraqi army (to counter balance the Islamist militias)? Arab nationalism has always been totalitarian. How do you fight ideology (Islamism, Baathism) without an ideology? Would federalism take the steam out of Islamism and vigiliantism or exacerbate it?
    There is not much of a state in Iraq, and not much of an army. That is why AQIZ’s plan to sow chaos and insecurity is so effective. Do Iraqis have the “right stuff” to pull themselves out of this hole? Does the international community besides the Coalition even care?

  • Super 6 says:

    “I know we offer relief to other countries quickly but that kind of troubles me. It seems like US government aid got to Indonesia quicker than it is getting to Louisiana.”
    Even a casual reading of the news discounts this statement. V’dore are you also going to blame Bush, global warming, evil corporations, etc…

  • vucommodore says:

    GK:
    The French may send large relief teams that are based in the French Antilles. They stated that they are willing to help in any way that is requested. If they do this, I don’t think that is “token”. There will be large amounts of international aid. Also, foreign donations are pouring in for the Red Cross. The Canadian Red Cross has their phones ringing off the hook from Canadians that are donating to the relief operation in Louisiana.
    Actually, the only countries that are doing anything so far are “Old Europe” and Canada. Our so called friends in the War on Terror have pledged nothing.
    China is not going to help because China is not really our friend. Russia may help.
    You say that nobody is going to help. Is that stipulating that we have no allies in the world?

  • Annoy Mouse says:

    Proud nations do not accept charity. I give to charity because I can. I do not accept charity because I do not need it.
    China does not want to be a super power, they just want to be able to defeat the US. If Germany wants to be charitable maybe they can get their minister of the environment, J├╝rgen Trittin to put a sock in his pie hole. The ruling despots of Mexico are donating cheap labor, be sure that they are doing everything they can to make sure that we have enough.

  • hamidreza says:

    Hi GK, What vucommodore is saying is that the US army should pull out of Baghdad and go to New Orleans.
    What he is not saying is that this will result in a civil war of unprecedented proportions, which will make Bosnia and Darfur and Rwanda look like Disney Land.
    Hundreds of thousands will be killed, executed, assasinated, kidnapped, tortured and beheaded in the name of Islam, Baathism, nationalism, or some fascistic ideology. Massacre of Kurds and ethnic cleansing will then ensue.
    That is the agenda of the reactionary western leftists like vucommodore. To hand Iraq over to the Islamists, so the leftists can get vindicated that “we told you so”. Now if that results in women being enslaved and raped, seculars (and Iraqi leftists and liberals) being assassinated and kidnapped, children getting brainwashed in madressas for umpteen generations, and a totalitarian state get imposed on the Iraqi people in the name of anti-imperialism, why would the western reactionary leftists care? The racist attitude of vucommodre and the rest of the reactionary left is contemptible.

  • GK says:

    To disagree with the war in Iraq is one thing. I believe one can have the position that addressing Pakistan or Saudi Arabia first might have also been a worthy plan, and still not be a traitor.
    BUT, anyone who says we should pull out now is either a genuine fifth-column seditious leftist, or just plain stupid. We are so close to winning, we just have to stick it out.
    I do hope we can get out of there by mid-2007, with under 3000 total US casualties, however. That way, people will have forgotten about it by the 2008 elections.

  • Super 6 says:

    moradali “This is a long term project. Is the US ready to ride it out in the long run?”
    Since WWII we have a poor track record. The whining to “pull out” grows each day. Sad…..

  • vucommodore says:

    Super 6:
    I think all levels of government have done an inadequate job. The whole response to this whole thing has been a debacle.
    Nagin did a terrible job trying to evacuate the city. He issued the evacuation order far too late.
    Blanco has been totally inept.
    And Bush’s response has been far too slow

  • GK says:

    Hamidreza,
    I truly believe that these leftists are actively cheering for the failure of the Iraq War, the failure of the US and all free-market capitalism in general, and the imposition of their fanatical ideology across the world.
    That they themselves might get killed in a terrorist strike does not bother them. It is an acceptable risk in the pursuit of their goal. Hence, they oppose the most common-sense things like the Patriot Act, War in Afghanistan, etc.
    Why?
    I believe that as a species evolves, the species produces ‘waste matter’. Among animals, waste matter is in the form of weak, defective creatures that predators eat and weed out. Among humans, since predation is no longer applicable, nature has adapted the human species so that said ‘waste matter’ acts in a way to ensure its own extinction. THis is seen in leftists and Islamic fundamentalists. How else explain their actions that hasten the chance of their own demise? Whether suicide bombing, gay marriage, partial-birth abortion, etc., the waste matter is preprogrammed by nature to weed themselves out of the gene pool. It is in their DNA, and no amount of persuasion can de-program them.
    The remaining 80-85% of the population that is part of the continual evolutionary stream, will continue to evolve as we *demonstrate* our ability to fight off the waste-matter leftists and terrorists. The development of this capability is an evolutionary process in itself. It is not just at a societal level, but a species level.

  • Super 6 says:

    “Nagin did a terrible job trying to evacuate the city” Nagin is a dumba$$,no argument here. I just wonder: if I lived in a city built below sea level in the direct path of a Cat 5, Would I need the government to tell me it was time to leave?…..

  • vucommodore says:

    GK:
    I go to a University where the average SAT is 1400 and I’m “waste matter”? LOL
    Super 6:
    Nagin could have done MUCH more to evacuate the city. A lot of people in New Orleans cannot afford to leave. Mandatory busing out of the city should have began 3 days before the hurricane, as soon as forecasters believed it was going to make a hit on New Orleans.
    The feds have to act VERY quickly right now. These next 12 hours are absolutely crucial. They need to airdrop food to the Superdome and Convention Centre and Tulane Hospital. All these places don’t have enough food and water. They also need to get a huge presence to St. Bernard Parish where thouands are still trapped on their roofs with no food and water.

  • Super 6 says:

    GK: “I believe that as a species evolves, the species produces ‘waste matter’. Among animals, waste matter is in the form of weak, defective creatures that predators eat and weed out. Among humans, since predation is no longer applicable, nature has adapted the human species so that said ‘waste matter’ acts in a way to ensure its own extinction. THis is seen in leftists and Islamic fundamentalists. How else explain their actions that hasten the chance of their own demise? Whether suicide bombing, gay marriage, partial-birth abortion, etc., the waste matter is preprogrammed by nature to weed themselves out of the gene pool. It is in their DNA, and no amount of persuasion can de-program them.”
    The left has no moral base except “reason & logic” as defined by them. If you don’t agree it is because you are not smart enough. The legacy of the left is millions of deaths and the forced “re-education” of the suvivors. It is elitism of the worst kind. They are elitist in their hearts and hide it under “compassion”.

  • GK says:

    V’Dore,
    Many professors, like Ward Churchill are definitely waste matter. If yout think the SAT score is all that matters, you have not proven otherwise at all.
    So, if you are so smart, answer these two simple questions :
    1) Do you want America to win or lose in Iraq. The question is not whether you agree with the decision, the question is whether you want us to win or lose from this point in time.
    2) Do you oppose the Patriot Sct? If so, what alternative measures do you have to keep America safe?
    Please answer these very simple questions.

  • Super 6 says:

    V’dore’s comment on SAT scores makes my point. We are not smart enough to “get it”.

  • GK says:

    Super 6,
    He does ‘get it’. His motivations are simply different. Read my message again and again.
    1) Conservatives assume that liberals are interested in saving their own lives. This is wrong. They are not. Dying as a casualty of furthering their cause is acceptable to them. Hence their opposition to any measure to stop terrorism.
    Never assume that leftists are driven by the same desire for self-preservation that other creatures in nature are driven by.
    2) The de-facto alliance with Islamic fundamentalists is due to their innate need, programmed in their DNA, to weed themselves out of the gene pool. Nature has already hard-wired them to behave in this way, so that genetic waste-matter can be removed from the evolutionary stream.

  • vucommodore says:

    1) I want America to win. I was against the decision and I think Bush lied to justify it but, now that the US is in Iraq, I hope for a quick US victory without much bloodshed on either side.
    2) I actually support the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act is one of the few things Bush has done that I agree with.
    I’m not bragging about being “smart. I’m just not “waste matter”.

  • Soldier's Dad says:

    In other good news from Iraq, the Iraqi AirForce flew 2 battalions of Iraqi troops from Irbil to TalAfar.

  • GK says:

    V’Dore.
    OK. Your answers satisfy me that you are not ‘waste matter’.
    BUT,
    Surely you have noticed that some on the extreme left are opposing any and all anti-terrorism methods, and are going very far to condemn anything America does while are deafeningly silent about just about any atrocity of the terrorists.
    Surely you can agree that such people do exist in America, even if you are not one of them.

  • Super 6 says:

    GK: “Never assume that leftists are driven by the same desire for self-preservation that other creatures in nature are driven by”
    I have never assumed this, the “old” left has a pretty good track record of fighting for their beliefs. To my point, the left of today are elitist and I think driven by the desire for power. It’s a story as old as mankind….

  • vucommodore says:

    GK:
    Such people do exist but they are a very small minority. Most “liberals” are very patriotic. I’m not a doctrainaire liberal either even though I’m liberal on issues such as the War in Iraq.
    I’m wondering right now why we can coordinate a relief mission in Indonesia in record time. We also have no problem airdropping food over Afghanistan but there have been no airdrops of food over New Orleans. People are starving and hospitals are running out of supplies. Where is FEMA?? Where are the airdrops??

  • Justin Capone says:

    “Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administrator David Fukatomi meanwhile said airdrops had been launched to bring food and water to areas still cut off by fallen trees.”
    ——————————————————————————–
    They have been doing that in both Mississippi and NO, the problem with NO is most of the city is under water so the food supplies get lost or the people can’t get to them.

  • Super 6 says:

    V’dore go here and read for awhile…..//www.fema.gov/

  • GK says:

    V’Dore,
    I think that they are a minority, but not that small. Maybe 10-15% of the population.
    Just like about 10-15% of the Muslim population of the world are active participants or supporters of terrorism, but the rest are not.
    The reason I worry about their actions is that they are damaging our society. The ACLU defends convicted child-murderers pro bono. Cindy Sheehan (a brainwashed mouthpiece manipulated by MoveOn.org) is given the attention of the national media. Jane Fonda openly sides with our ememies, whether in Vietnam or today.
    Regarding the hurricane, consider two things :
    1) The media hates Bush and will always find some way to make him look bad, no matter what he does. With the Tsunami, Clinton was also involved, who the media love.
    2) As devastating as the property damage is, the death toll will still be 400-500. While tragic, that is tiny compared to the 220,000 that died in the Tsunami. That is a testament to superior American infrastructure and emergency response. But it is certainly not perfect and will always look bad when benchmarked against perfection.

  • vucommodore says:

    Justin:
    This is America. I have confidence that we are going to save these people. But the reports out of New Orleans aren’t that encouraging.

  • vucommodore says:

    GK:
    I hope your 400-500 dead figure is right because the property damage is DEVASTATING.

  • GK says:

    In America, the property damage figure is always high, the loss of life is relatively low.
    In developing nations, the reverse is always true.
    BUT, BUT, BUT,
    The emergency response system, national guard, FEMA, Red Cross, etc. can only help with human hardships (which, again, is why casualties in the US are low). They do not have any ability to mitigate economic damage, nor can anyone.
    In fact, the property damage was predicted days before the hurricane actually struck. But there is nothing any President, Government, Military, or Agency can do about it. Houses cannot move..

  • Soldier's Dad says:

    VUcommodore,
    “Where are the airdrops??”
    Air dropping things without a drop zone is pretty stupid. There is no such thing as a “precision guided air drop”. It would appear that the sections of New Orleans that are not under water, have people.

  • Super 6 says:

    Back on thread topic:
    This operation looks like it was tailor made for Special Forces, no doubt they are currently “on the job”. Good news has a way of getting out in spite of the MSM.
    Thanks Bill……..

  • vucommodore says:

    This is why I’m a liberal. Listen to this idiot.
    //www.breitbart.com/news/2005/09/01/D8CBMPGG5.html

  • vucommodore says:

    GK:
    23 Nations have offered relief so far including France, Germany, China and Mexico.
    //www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,168203,00.html

  • V'dore says:

    That’s nice. I would like to know how much they gave, though. They may be just token amounts.
    For example, we do have 40 countries contributing troops to Iraq, but, aside from the US, substantial numbers are only from about 4 other countries. The remaining 36 countries have contributed only 200, 300, 0r 500 troops each…..
    Do you know how much each of those countries actually gave us in aid?

  • GK says:

    V’Dore,
    Sorry about the name in the wrong place.
    That’s nice. I would like to know how much they gave, though. They may be just token amounts.
    For example, we do have 40 countries contributing troops to Iraq, but, aside from the US, substantial numbers are only from about 4 other countries. The remaining 36 countries have contributed only 200, 300, 0r 500 troops each…..
    Do you know how much each of those countries actually gave us in aid?

  • GK says:

    V’Dore,
    From your own link :
    ‘Hastert’s press secretary, Ron Bonjean, said Hastert was not suggesting New Orleans should be abandoned or relocated. “The speaker believes that we should have a discussion about how best to rebuild New Orleans so as to protect its citizens,” he said. “What he is saying is that rebuilding the city in the same way is not sensible.”
    In any case, he is taken out of context. Also, a lot of relocation will happen voluntarily. Many people who lost homes will simply choose to move further inland, or to another city, to avoid the same again.

  • pkoren says:

    First, please stop feeding the off topic troll.
    On subject: If we, together with our allies of the moment, the Albu Mahal tribe, can rid the area of the jihadi threat, will the jihadis keep attacking the tribe or will they try other routes to supply their forces along the Euphrates rat line? I’m trying to look ahead to understand the implications of what a victory in this border area might mean for the Sunni triangle as a whole.
    It will be very interesting to see if other tribes make the same choice.
    I would love to see a tribal map of the actual and potential jihadi logistics routes — not a chance, I suspect.

  • vucommodore says:

    pkoren:
    The situation in Louisiana and Mississippi is the most important front in the War on Terror right now. If we show we can care for our won people with compassion and charity, we will be respected in the Middle East. If we cannot care for our own citizens, we will be ridiculed. It will also show weakness if this disaster brings us to our knees.
    John F. Kennedy was worried that the images of Bull Connor using dogs against civil rights demonstators was hurting the Cold War.
    The inadequacy of the relief so far is hurting the War on Terror. Both Republican and Democratic officials in Orleans, Jefferson and St. Bernard parishes have been criticizing the speed of the relief.

  • vucommodore says:

    Fox New’s Homepage now has a large headline that says “This is a National Disgrace”. I absolutely agree.

  • vucommodore says:

    Pres. Bush: Response “not acceptable”
    Yes, Mr. President, your response has not been acceptable.

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