I just finished reading one of the daily intelligent summary from the US military in Iraq for 30 January.
Though the list of incidents seems, at first glance, long. It is worth the time to fully read each description and its comments. When you read the comments, the only conclusion is that things in Iraq are improving. Al Qaedi in Iraq (AQI) is in retreat. The Iraqi army is chasing them. Supplies lines to the enemy have been cut. More IEDs are being found than detonated.
Also, as I have mentioned before, the use of more and more of what would normally never be considered military worthy individuals is a sign of desperation. If AQI was winning and its ranks swelling with recruits, why wouldn't one of the new recruits eagerly volunteered to be matyred as soon as possible. The recent use of Down's Syndrome women bombers clearly indicates this.
Another couple of things. First, the phrase "hearts and minds" has been used many times the last few years to make the point that we need to convince the Iraqi people to support our efforts against AQI. While that is true to some extent, AQI may be doing a lot of the winning on our behalf. Read the news articles of how AQI treat the people of Iraq: intimidation, threats, beheadings, torture, harassment, murder, subjugation, and using civilians as human shields.
Second, we cannot loose in Iraq if we are willing to finish the job. Think about it. We have bases, big and small, all over Iraq. From time to time, the come under attack, but these attacks are mortars or sniper rounds. Not the kinds of attacks designed to over-run the base. We're not in danger of having to engage in a fighting retreat. We're not going to be pushed back to the see. We won't be loading up all of our guys onto ships in Kuwait. AQI simply cannot match our military might and the excellence of our men and women. The only way will we loose in Iraq (or Afghanistan) for that matter, will be if we lack the political will. This is what the terrorist are trying to do. And, as the recent debates indicate, some of our politicians are willing to give them that victory.
Let's finish the job. I want to win.
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