The Battle of Iraq – 2007

Baghdad and the Belts. Red bordered units identified as active in offensive operations. Click map to view.

By Bill Roggio and DJ Elliott

A look at the largest offensive operation in Iraq since 2003

Four days after the announcement of major offensive combat operations against al Qaeda in Iraq and its allies, the picture becomes clearer on the size and scope of the operation. In today’s press briefing, Rear Admiral Mark noted that the ongoing operation is a corps directed and coordinated offensive operation. This is the largest offensive operation since the first phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom ended in the spring of 2003.

The corps level operation is being conducted in three zones in the Baghdad Belts — Diyala/southern Salahadin, northern Babil province, and eastern Anbar province — as well as inside Baghdad proper, where clearing operations continue in Sadr City and the Rashid district. Iraqi and Coalition forces are now moving into areas which were ignored in the past and served as safe havens for al Qaeda and Sunni insurgent groups. As the corps level operation is ongoing, Coalition and Iraqi forces are striking at the rogue Iranian backed elements of Muqtada al Sadr’s Mahdi Army and continuing the daily intelligence driven raids against al Qaeda’s network nationwide.

Multinational Division North is leading the offensive in Diyala province and southern Salahadin. The current offensive in Diyala was telegraphed when Multinational Forces Iraq announced the creation of the Diyala Operational Command on June 14, just as the announcement of the Baghdad Operational Command in January immediately preceded the onset of the Baghdad Security Plan. The Diyala Operational Command is essentially a corps command for the Iraqi Security Forces in the province which allows for the Army and National Police units to coordinate efforts throughout the region.

Operation Arrowhead Ripper, the assault on Baqubah kicked off with an air assault. Iraqi Army scouts accompanied elements of the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team of the 2nd Infantry Division. The operation in Baqubah s modeled after the successful operation to clear Tal Afar in September of 2005, which was designed and executed by Col. H.R. McMaster. The plan is to essentially “seal, kill, hold and rebuild.” The city is cordoned, neighborhoods are identified as friendly or enemy territory, the neighborhoods are then segmented and forces move in with the intent to kill or capture the enemy. As both Michael Gordon and Michael Yon reported from Baqubah the goal isn’t just to clear the city of insurgents, but to trap and kill them in place. The combat operations are then immediately followed by humanitarian and reconstruction projects.

At last count, three U.S. combat brigades, two Iraqi Army Brigades and one Iraqi National Police Brigade in direct action at Baqubah The number of Iraqi brigades inside the city may be growing, however. “Iraqi Defense Ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Askari said about 5,000 Iraqi soldiers and 2,000 paramilitary police were fighting,” reported the Associated Press. “Iraqi forces said they took control of neighborhoods in Baqouba and were greeted by cheering people.” This would equate to two Iraqi Army brigades (2-5 and probably 3-5). The “paramilitary police” is probably 1st Iraqi National Police Mechanized Brigade from Taji.

One U.S. and two Iraqi Army brigades (possibly upwards of four) are in blocking positions in the area. Newer Iraqi Army units are being used as blocking forces. The police units were not built for major offensive operations of this scale, and the less seasoned Iraqi Army units are better suited to take blocking positions.

Iraqi Armored units are likely taking up blocking positions along the Tigris River to prevent al Qaeda fighters from crossing into neighboring Salahadin province. The long guns and heavy machine guns on the armor allow the Iraqi forces to protect the bridge crossings and take out barges and craft used to cross the river. A curfew has been imposed on the province of Diyala, which likely includes instructions to keep off the rivers. This strategy has been employed by Multinational Division Central, which destroyed a barge on the Tigris river near Salman Pak south of Baghdad. The craft was being used to smuggle “ammunition and bomb-making materials into Baghdad.’

The operation in Baqubah s a microcosm of the larger operation in Diyala, while Diyala is one but one of three of the corps level operations. The same goal is shared across the three theaters: cordon the regions, trap and kill al Qaeda and clear the areas, and then move in security forces in for stability and reconstruction operations.

In the south, Multinational Division Central is leading offensive operations, dubbed Operation Marne Torch, in northern Babil province. Two U.S. combat brigades and one Iraqi Army brigade are on the offensive south of Baghdad, while one U.S. Army brigade and two Iraqi National Police are in blocking positions. After four days, Operation Marne Torch has yielded 4 insurgents killed, 62 captured, ten caches and five improvised explosive devices seized and 17 boats destroyed.

In the east, Multinational Forces West is engaged “north of Fallujah” – likely in Karma and the Thar Thar region, where al Qaeda and Sunni insurgents maintain support nodes in the desert expanse of the Jazeera desert nearly equidistant to Baghdad, Fallujah and Samarra. A Marine Regimental Combat Team, a Marine Expeditionary Unit and an Iraqi Army Brigade appear to be the teeth of the offensive operations while elements of the 1st Iraqi Army Division are in blocking positions.

While the major offensive operation is occurring in the Baghdad Belts against al Qaeda and Sunni insurgent holdouts, major raids continue against Sadr’s forces and the Iranian cells in Baghdad and the south. Two major engagements occurred against Sadr’s forces since Monday — one in Amara and one in Nasariyah. Scores of Mahdi Army fighters were killed during both engagements after Iraqi Special Operations Forces, backed by Coalition support, took on Sadr’s forces.

The Iraqi government and Multinational Forces Iraq are sending a clear message to Sadr: when the fighting against al Qaeda is finished, the Iranian backed elements of the Mahdi Army are next on the list if they are not disbanded. Also, the Iraqi military and Multinational Forces Iraq possesses enough forces to take on Sadr’s militia if they attempt to interfere with current operations.

Finally, as the major operation is ongoing and Sadr’s forces are challenged, Task Force 145 (or Task Force 88, it appears) continues its war in the shadows against al Qaeda’s network nationwide. Raids against al Qaeda’s networked on June 16 and 17 resulted in 10 terrorists killed and 20 captured, while raids on June 18 and 19 resulted in one al Qaeda killed and 15 captured.

Multinational Forces Iraq and the Iraqi Security Forces have now launched operations on all fronts simultaneously against al Qaeda. The three major theaters of the belts, plus Baghdad, are seeing massive operations, and Special Forces continues to hunt al Qaeda’s operatives nationwide. Sadr and his Iranian backed Mahdi Army have been put on notice, with force to back it up. The enemy will have little space to operate, and al Qaeda’s attempts to move operations to Salahadin or the north toward Mosul will expose the network. The pressure must be maintained over a significant period of time in order to sufficiently degrade al Qaeda’s operational abilities nationwide, and provide the Iraqi government with the time and space needed to resolve the political issues.

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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  • //

    BILL ROGGIO HAS MORE ON what’s happening in Iraq. And Bob Owens notes some media recycling….

  • jklingle says:

    Bill and DJ,
    Thank you for this excellent reporting. Since I saw that operations had begun yesterday morning here, I’ve been waiting for the MSM to have anything of value to offer on this pivotal action, and I’ve seen nothing. Keep up the great work!

  • dsmith says:

    We won’t hear about this from the MSM until there are US KIA, especially if an IED is used. Then CNN,CBS etc will make a huge deal about the American war dead. That is their standard MO.

  • Bozoer Rebbe says:

    I can’t believe that the MSM is missing this story and its significance completely. They’ve spent all this time on the political wrangling over the war and now that the “surge” is finally on, they don’t realize it.

  • jklingle says:

    What strikes me about this in particular is that the best coverage (though inferior to Bill and DJ’s work) is actually coming from the Times and the Post, while I’m hearing and seeing nothing on media outlets that I’d expect would understand this. I’ve seen one post on the Corner, a 30 second error-filled report on Fox News, and heard nothing of consequence on talk radio. What is going on here?

  • remoteman says:

    I actually saw a blurb on ABC’s Good Morning America news brief that our forces were engaging in a large operation that was putting strong pressure on AQI. There was nothing negative said during the few seconds the subject came up.
    This is a very, very significant operation, which, given its multi-faceted composition and the rapidly growing indigenous support from formerly hostile tribes, could provide the tipping point we’ve all been hoping for. Sealing the Iranian border is going to be a key to prolonged success.

  • Neo-andertal says:

    The “clear, hold and build” strategy developed by Col. H. R. McMaster is at the center of General Petraeus plan to secure Baghdad and central Iraq. This strategy has had success in Tal Afar, Mosul, and more recently Anbar province. Critics of this plan point to an insufficient number of troops to carry through on the plan and characterize the “surge”

  • MAJOR offensive underway in Iraq

    This has been going on for the last 24 hours, but still not much has been reported. It’s as big as the Fallujah offensives; it’s the biggest push since the original invasion. At least 10,000 U.S. soldiers are involved in pushing Al Qaeda out of Baq…

  • The Battle of Iraq

    It begins right now.

  • Dan says:

    This is actually the first real test of the Keane/Kagan ‘surge’ plan.
    The most convincing arguement against the new strategy was that even with the new tactics all that’s going on is whack-a-mole version of war.
    The weeks ahead will put this to the test. If AlQ, when driven from Diyalah are able to filter back into previously cleared areas like Baghdad and Anbar – they critics were right.
    If they are forced to rebase somewhere else – specifically in less strategically adbantageous for the provinces that are farther from baghdad and don’t have borders with Iran/Syria – the okan is working.

  • OldSoldier54 says:

    “…They have discarded the rather half hearted “light footprint”

  • Battle of Iraq:

    Bill Roggio says, “This is big”. Read his roundup of the biggest offensive in Iraq since 2003….

  • Bozoer Rebbe says:

    Whack-a-mole is what this plan is trying to avoid. The MNF says that they have western Baquba surrounded, with escape routes cut off. This is about killing AQ.

  • Tom W. says:

    The “light footprint” strategy was implemented because everywhere else that a “heavy footprint” was tried from the start (Algeria, Afghanistan, Chechnya), the result was massive numbers of deaths of both occupiers and occupied.
    Personally, I look at the current situation as part of a continuum: We had to first show the Iraqis that we weren’t the French, Soviets, or Russians. That required a relatively light touch. The Iraqis also had to learn for themselves that al Qaeda and the Iranian-backed Shi’ite militias were savages.
    Only then would the Iraqis support a much more aggressive approach against their own people.
    I think much of what happened in Iraq was inevitable, so I don’t use terms like “failed strategy.” It was all part of the same strategy to help the Iraqis stabilize themselves for the long term, without backsliding into dictatorship.

  • With an operation this large, involving numerous Coalition and Iraqi units, the enemy surely knew it was coming. The car bomb attack yesterday, timed for the beginning of the Diyala operation, was surely no coincidence. This was the enemy’s efforts to make sure that THEY were the lead story back in the States, and not the new offensive. AQI reads and employs our Joint Information warfare doctrine, even if, at times, we don’t appear to.
    The MSM response to this story re-confirms the editors lack of military knowledge and unfamiliarity with Iraq and the complexity of the situation on the ground.
    AQI or any insurgent organization cannot operate without the willing or forced complicity of the population. The underlying intent of these new military operations is to drain the swamp of cooperation that has enabled AQI to operate freely.
    One of the many keys to success employed this year is getting the tribal leaders to willingly support the Iraqi government. This strategy of enlisting the tribal leaders was used very effectively by Mike Gefellor, a State Department officer who worked for CPA in Hilla in 2003-04.
    How very, very unfortunate that this strategy was not employed from the beginning of the war.

  • Neo says:

    If you took US and IA forces by themselves I think the likelihood for success to be much more limited. Not enough US forces plus the IA has too many Shiites at this point. As part of the hold plan you need a replication of what happened in Anbar in the regions surrounding Baghdad. If you can get Al Quada off their backs the locals can go a long way in keeping terrorists out of their area. The step after that is to get more of the local Sunni’s into the IA and restart the rudiments of local government. There is no real way the Sunni’s can represent themselves in the national government without having Al Quada off their backs. Otherwise any decision they make may cost them their lives.

  • Anti-Herman says:

    Tom W
    Smartest post I have ever seen.
    What is the opinion of the people of Dilaya on this?
    Who exactly is still left supporting AQI in Iraq?

  • Richard1 says:

    Tom W.
    Good insight.

  • Cincy says:

    It would have been great to implement this strategy from the outset, and Petraus / McMasters & Co. proved it could work in Iraq in Tal Afar and Mosul. That being said, I doubt very much if the power players in Bahgdad’s Sunni communities were ready to play ball in 04-05. Now that Al Quada is truning on them and their families they are more receptive to the idea of working with the coalition to cut out the cancer.

  • DJ Elliott says:

    Money Quote
    Explosions rocked the morning in other parts of the city, as Apache gunships circled overhead. Soldiers with Company C’s 3rd Squad, 3rd Platoon, searched several houses, met by townspeople, some of whom motioned the troops into their houses.
    “Welcome, welcome,”

  • Dan says:

    Tom W, you are correct sir.

  • Were WMD Moved to Syria Before the Iraq War?

    Scott Malensek, posting at Flopping Aces, has a (thus far) three-part report on the long held suspicion that Iraqi WMD were shipped out of Iraq – and possibly into Syria – as the current war there was looming. The Allied

  • Neo-andertal says:

    The other reason “light footprint”

  • In January 2004 I witnessed a meeting in Baghdad of all the Division Commanders and Coalition Provincial Authority Governate Coordinators with General Sanchez and Ambassador Bremer. The intent of these monthly meetings, which began in November, was to coordinate the activities of the military with the CPA. This coordination was much needed and long overdue.
    General Petraeus, then commander of the 101st Airborne, and General Odierno, commander of the 4th Infantry,were also in attendance.
    The generals pushed hard at Amb Bremner to get the economy moving so that the large number of discontented young males on the streets might be lured into jobs instead of the insurgency. Amb Bremer’s response to them was adamant: economic activity was contingent on security, and security was the military’s job.
    Bremer was correct (on this point)and the generals had no response to him. At that time, there was no Iraqi army, a rag-tag police force, and not enough Coalition troops on the ground for the task at hand.
    My own travels throughout the country had already confirmed that security was job one. And we weren’t getting that job done.
    From the beginning we tried to do the job on the cheap. Three and a half years later we are trying to get the job done right.

  • AQI Losses says:

    Bill & DJ,
    Outstanding reports! My primary source for Iraq and other War on Terror news, plus insightful comments from readers.

  • Diamond Dog says:

    Nice map.
    The key doesn’t explain what the icons with a red border signify.
    Can you tell me, please?

  • cjr says:

    “From the beginning we tried to do the job on the cheap.”
    Not sure what is the basis of this statement. From the begining, we have been deploying as many brigades as is possible. Since 2003 every single brigade in the US Army, Marines and National Guard has been rotating to Iraq or Aghanistan at its maximum capacity or, in many cases, above its maximum capacity. (the ONLY exception is 1st/2nd ID in Korea)
    The reason we have been able to surge to 20 brigades today is due to 2 facts.
    -A new, more demanding rotation policy has been instituted earlier this year. Instead of 2 years home / 1 year deployed, it is now 12 months home / 15 months deployed
    -US Army has been steadily building new army brigades since 2004, going from 33 in 2003 to 43 today.

  • anand says:

    Diamond Dog, from the outer caption, red borders indicates brigades that are part of offensive operations.

  • Firght4TheRight says:

    Bill and DJ,
    Once again you guys are the best of the best in reporting on this hugely important offensive. Thank you for bringing so much to light here. Couple that with fantastic insights from readers/commenters and it’s the best stuff on the web or flat out anywhere.
    One concern I have with this offensive. I’m not sure if we have ever seen Al Qaeda end up truly, truly cornered like we would ideally see here, and if that indeed happens, I think we are in for some unfortunate examples of extremes we have never seen before – I think you will see any pockets of civilians brutalized by Al Qaeda, I think there will be incredible sabotaging of buildings, etc. They will not go out quietly.
    Finally, in response to the observations that the MSM is not reporting any of this. They simply won’t. To report this offensive, let alone any progress it makes, would be to acknowledge that there is a plan, there is a design to wipe out Al Qaeda. Let’s face it, the MSM has spent the last year working feverishly to cover up the very existence of Al Qaeda in Iraq and now, by reporting this offensive, they have to admit they deceived the American people all this time? Nope. Not gonna happen.

  • Good Piece On The Romanticization of The Journalistic Ankle-Biter

    When the very smart “Jeff Larkin,” late of Football Fans and Beyond, tells me this is a “brilliant, must-read piece” from James Bowman of the New Criterion, I take notice. It’s wide-ranging and hard to simplify into a slugline, but…

  • anand says:

    We have tried to do the job on the cheap in Afghanistan.
    We have also tried to do so in Iraq in a few different ways:
    Not enough effort, starting in 2002/2003, was put into long term Arabic training for US military officers and senior NCOs (and for the 4 year military academy graduates).
    There are many ways this could have been done. One way would have been if the military announced that officers and NCOs with fluent Iraqi Arabic (since Iraqi Arabic is quite different from Arabic spoken in other Arab countries) skills would be paid 50% more than they would otherwise be paid for the duration of the war on terror. Officers, NCOs, and cadets that agreed to go through long term Arabic training would have to agree to serve for at least 5 years.
    There should have been a much more serious effort to recruit Arab speaking or Arab heritage American citizens/Green Card holders into the US military (including with respect the entering classes at the military academies). The US military should have advertised for them much more aggressively, and been willing to pay them more than US soldiers of the same rank. Of course, they would have had to go through the same rigorous training, and gotten no preference with respect to any other aspect of their service. President Bush should have made several speeches to Arabic American audiences, calling for them to join the US military. Perhaps age/eyesight and other requirements should have been relaxed at the point of joining to aid recruitment.
    These policies would have taken many years to affect the outcome in Iraq, and the cost would have been very expensive. It didn’t happen.
    Greater emphasis should also have been put into long term training to improve Iraqi cultural understanding and counter-insurgency skills for US officers and senior NCOs early on. (It’s happening now.)
    US government employees from other agencies should have been forced to contribute to economic/governance challenges in Iraq. If necessary they should have been drafted. This wasn’t done because casualties from non-military agencies are considered far more serious than military casualties.
    Had both of these happened, the US military and other agencies would have been able to provide far more advisors and trainers for the ISF training effort; and better staff PRTs, and economic/governance related functions. The combat effectiveness of US combat troops in the field would also have been greatly enhanced. It would also have been easier to add additional US combat brigades over time.
    The ISF training/equipping mission was significantly under funded early on. The early plans didn’t allocate nearly enough resources to the ‘Iraqi Training and Doctrine Command’ or ITDC. Both in terms of budget, and enough US officers/senior NCOs. Had that happened, a lot more long term and high quality Iraqi officer/senior NCO training would have been possible. And the through-put for training ISF today would be a lot higher.
    There wasn’t a strong enough diplomatic effort in early 2003 to convince the international community to contribute to the ITDC (it would have been much easier for other countries to contribute to the ITDC than send peace-keepers to Iraq). But we would have had to pay them (give them what they want on other issues) to bring them in. We were too cheep.
    On the economic side of the equation, we were way too cheep. In 2003, the US government should have funded small level reconstruction projects to be run by Sergeants, 1st Lieutenants, Captain, and Majors across Iraq. More US taxpayer money could have been used to fund economic reconstruction in the provinces and pockets of Iraq that were relatively safe, rather than waiting for the GoI to do it. Then Lt. Gen Petraeus could have used more money in Ninevah in 2003/2004. Colonel McMaster could have used it in Ninevah in 2005/2006.
    A lot more could have been done in the South 2003-2005.
    Pockets of prosperity and success in Iraq would have made it easier to convince tribes and communities elsewhere in Iraq to throw their lot in with the GoI and the multinational forces earlier on. The Al Anbar awakening might have happened a year earlier.
    It costs us $10 billion and 50-130 lives a month to stay in Iraq. By spending more earlier on, we would be a lot better off now. The GoI, provincial and local governments would be collecting a lot more revenues, and the non-oil private sector would have been be a lot bigger.
    Iraq would be a lot closer to self-reliance, and would be able to afford a much larger ISF budget today.

  • Rob says:

    Tom W. Great post.
    There is a pacing and time component here. Sistani is on board because we have shown him that we want what will be a better future for Iraq. Talk is cheap and plentiful. It has taken time for him to trust us. Al Qaeda has worn out its welcome because it is so blood thirsty. The blood stained Baathists had to learn that they would never regain power and the rest of the Sunnis had come to realize that their best future was along a democratic path.
    Sadr and his Mahdi army have been half taught that violence against the coalition does not pay and the rest of the country has come to know that he is a puppet of Iran.
    All this has taken time.
    Now we have an exceptional battle proven leader in Gen Petraeus. We have had successes in Mosul and Tal Afar. Now is the time to repeat and enlarge upon them.
    The path to victory in World War II was not easy or straight, but it led to victory non the less. The media, the elites, and the surrender prone Congress should stand back and let these heros work. We are watching what may be the new Greatest Generation.

  • Terry Gain says:

    Tom W
    I agree with you completely and have often made the same point myself, though less eloquently. I’ve yet to read a post of yours (and I’ve read many) with which I disagree.
    With respect, a heavy footprint would have had two negative consequences. Firstly, it would have resulted in more American deaths and hence less support at home even sooner than was the case. Secondly, Iraqis would have been less inclined to see the need to fight for their country.
    Ultimately, as important as is the work of our heroic soldiers, the fate of Iraq rests with Iraqis. They need our help but we can’t do it, nor are we doing it, without the whole hearted commitment of sufficient Iraqis to the future of their country.

  • dude says:

    With respect to such a heavy footprint. Let’s not forget that at the time there were WMD all over the place. The larger the footprint the more catastrophic that could have been.

  • Cincy says:

    Good analysis. But we are also Monday morning QBing here to a large extent. The counter to that though, is that Petraus / McMasters had the foresite to do it right.
    Involving the rest of the government in the process remains critical. I’d like to see us require more involvement from more levels of the federal government. If anybody knows how we can make that happen I’d be happy to be a part of the effort.

  • Boinkie says:

    I wonder how long they have been planning this?
    The logistics would have taken quite a bit of time. For example, a relative of mine was taken from a desk job in January and ordered to take a course on how to run a POW camp…he is now in Iraq, just in time to take care of “insurgents” who are captured in the push. Coincidence?
    All we get here is CNN and BBC, so thanks for the blog

  • Cincy says:

    “I wonder how long they have been planning this?”
    Petraus has been thinking about this ever since he left Iraq and started re-writing the Army’s Counter Insurgency Manual. He has surrounded himself with brilliant warriors. If we can stave off the politicians clamouring for us to decalre defeat and retreat.

  • giggles says:

    Bill and DJ, great reporting!
    How long have they been planning this?
    The answer to that highlights some truth behind Tom W’s post. The men of the Marne have been in training for this for many many months. They are extremely well prepared.
    Also, this isn’t their first tour of duty in Iraq. They went back to Iraq already battle hardened.
    Just to top it off, check out the historical reputation of the Marne unit. Their kill/capture ratio shows how strongly they feel about upholding that reputation. They seem to be taking the “Clear and Hold” order very seriously.
    This op has definately been meticulously planned as part of the long term strategy, and is being implemented by some of the brightest, toughest, battle hardened units.
    Bravo General P!

  • giggles says:

    Forgot to add; here comes the build part of “Clear, hold, and build”.
    The Iraqi government allocated 210 billion Iraqi dinars for reconstruction in Anbar province, which has been devastated by terrorist attacks and military operations, Iraq’s Kurdistan’s Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh said on Wednesday.

  • Matthew says:

    Hi Bill, DJ, great map btw, very useful and clear.
    Just a quick question, MNF-I has a press release mentioning the 4th BCT (Airborne) of the 25th Infantry Division operating with 3-BCT of the 3rd Divison in Salman Pak and Arab Jabour. Just wondering if you included 4-BCT as part of the 3-BCT on the map.
    I don’t have any military experience whatsoever nor do I have experience with Arabic place names so unit designations and operating areas in Iraq can be confusing at times. Your site is very clear.
    Also, how many soldiers/police are in a brigade? Are the numbers comparable between US and Iraqi forces? Or comparable between Iraqi Army and Iraqi police.

  • DJ Elliott says:

    At the time the map was published, US 4-25 was not ID’d as having shifted or being part of Marne Torch.
    They are on the map but, in an old location.
    If you draw a triangle from plotted locations of US 2-3, US 3-3 and Iraqi 3-1 INP: That is roughly where they are.
    IA is built on US lines but, they do not have Field Artillery Bns or Bde Support Bns as yet. Also the US BSTB (HQ Bn) is larger due to having Companies not formed for the IA yet.
    That puts the Iraqi Bdes at 2,000-3,000 each while US Bdes are ~3,500 in theory but, task organization will cause that to vary.
    (IA Bde with minimum 3 Bns would be 2527 at 100% manning, they are authorized 20% overmanning.
    4-6 IA is has 5xBns.
    INP Bdes are lighter, authorized ~2,200.)

  • David M says:

    Trackbacked by The Thunder Run – Web Reconnaissance for 06/21/2007
    A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day…so check back often.

  • DubiousD says:

    If the 4th ID had been allowed to cross the Turkish border at the get-go, many Sunni army officers would have become *dead* Sunni army officers. This would have had the effect of undercutting the strength of the insurgency before it even began, for reasons that should appear obvious.
    Bearing this in mind, had Operation Iraqi Freedom been allowed to play out as it was originally conceived, with the 4th ID joining forces with other divisions to capture and kill Saddam’s hardcore army elites, the *light footprint* approach employed thereafter might have proven far more effective.

  • exhelodrvr says:

    Is more attention being paid to securing the Iranian and Syrian borders? That has seemed to be the biggest mistake that has been made. Most of the other issues have been of the “6 of one, half a dozen of the other” variety, as a number of posts have pointed out.

  • DJ Elliott says:

    In the last quarterly report, the Iraqi DBE added 4x new Bns (42 total now) and has started adding smaller outposts between the border posts. (Iraqi DBE is 2.5x the size of US Border Guards.)
    OPSEC on DBE locations is tight. I have no idea where those four Bns went. Plenty of suspicions, no data…
    Also, they are adding the Georgians to the borders…
    “Lynch has just taken over command of operations of Wasit province in the country’s south east.
    It has a 240 km (150 mile) border with Iran, and he is bringing in 3,000 Georgian troops to stem the flow of arms and munitions which make their way through Wasit to Baghdad.”

  • Leta says:

    Gentlemen ~ not much more I can add by way of thanks for this great information. Mostly just wanted you to know that I, too, appreciate you giving us the opportunity to have a place to read what’s going on. I haven’t been able to find too many other places with any information on “the surge”.
    Aside from being thankful for our amazing military who are in Iraq doing what they are doing I am thankful that General Petraeus and his staff are the ones directing the actions at this time. Congress ~ PLEASE BACK OFF of them and let them do their job.

  • Rob says:

    This is great, I added it to my website, keep up the great reporting and love the site.

  • Brave, Brave Sir Lugar! Yet he passes for relatively constructive opposition.

    GOP critics of the war have reverted … along with the more sane Democrats … to the Donald Rumsfeld position on Iraq that they helped kill in 2003. Rumsfeld wanted to turn over Iraq immediately to a government in exile and keep a small suppo…


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