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July 25, 2008

Comments

motown67

JoshNarins,

You seem to be only thinking of the surge in terms of number of troops, not how they were used. The Surge isn't so much important as the number of troops that were sent in, but the complete change in tactics. The focus upon leaving the bases and providing civilian security was a necessary change, that brought about tangible results. While the Sunnis in Anbar had begun changing sides back in 2006, the Surge troops and their new tactics I think were instrumetnal in turning tribes and former insurgents in central Iraq into the Sons of Iraq units. Without the extra-troops these Sunnis would not have gone against the then more powerful Islamists because the U.S. would go to an area and then leave to go back to their bases. Under the surge they went into areas and tried to stay and promised Sunnis that they would protect them. This was instrumental in turning these people. Once that occurred, the U.S. could then begin focusing upon the Iranian weapons supplied to Special Groups and also the Mahdi Army. Sadr had a number of other reasons for announcing his cease-fire, but one of them was the U.S. military pressure. Remember that in Feb. 07 he went to Iran because he was afraid of being arrested during the Surge.

bb

JoshNarins:

Can I suggest you look again at the final Brookings chart on your website? If you do you will see that after the Sunni Awakenings "began" in August 2006, attacks against Iraqi infrastructure, the number of ieds and mines found and exploded, the number of sniper, ambush amd small arms attacks and the number of mortar and rocket attaxks ALL continued to CLIMB STEEPLY until the end of June, 2007 - 10 months later!

After which they suddenly DROPPED dramatically.

The end of June was when the last of the "surge" brigades were in place. Coincidence?

Also you can see by the chart that the above were on this steep downward trajectory when Mogtada announced his ceasefire. This coincided with the simultaneous, multi offensives directed against ALQI hideouts and supply depots on the southern outskirts of Baghdad that were conducted by the MNF and Iraqi Army from early August onwards, which drove the insurgency out of Baghdad by September. The multi offensives could not have occurred without the extra troops provided by the surge. Moqtada's ceasefire came as the result of the effectiveness of these offensives.

The higher numbers of coalition troops in Iraq during 2005 were not the result of extra brigades being "surged" in. They were the result of General Casey temporarily delaying the exit of troops LEAVING Iraq and being replaced by others in the normal rotation. In other words, he orchestrated a delayed cross over.

Casey did this to maximise the number of troops he had available to protect the people from insurgent attacks in the Jan 05, Oct 05 and Dec 05 elections.

greg

Everything you never wanted to know (but need to know) about Kim Kagan (and the whole blood-loving Kagan family):

http://smirkingchimp.com/thread/13897

greg

Everything you never wanted to know (but need to know) about Kim Kagan (and the whole blood-loving Kagan family):

http://smirkingchimp.com/thread/13897

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