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April 28, 2007

Comments

bb

Reading that NYT piece, plus this one today in the LATimes http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-qaeda29apr29,1,6159564.story?coll=la-headlines-world&track=crosspromo , I have to ask if this outcome could have been achieved by the Anbar shiekhs and the ISF their own without the marines?

If the marines quit tomorrow, how long would the Shiekhs and the ISF last against AlQ flooding back from Diyala with all their weaponry, funding and ruthlessness?

Doesn't this tip the argument against US withdrawal for the time being - even suggesting that US forces should be increased in Diyala to help the locals throw ALQI out of there?

No Preference

AA, thanks for reinforcing the important point that the Anbar sheiks are opposed to any permanent US presence in Iraq. As far as I can see, very few Iraqis see any US role in Iraq in the future.

bb, I don't buy the logic that AQ would have an advantage in Anbar Province if the US withdrew. They're outnumbered, most of them are outsiders (a very important point), and there's no evidence that I know of that they're better armed.

bb

In Sept/Oct last year the ISF and emerging ASC in Anbar were very quickly swamped when marines were moved from Anbar to fight in Baghdad

This time as part of the Surge, 4000 extra marines were sent to to Anbar.The result seems to be that they, the ISF and the Shiekhs have cleared out much of ALQI and insurgency in only a few weeks.

How long this will be maintained is debateable, but it doesn't seem to indicate the locals would be capable of combatting ALQI and the extreme insurgency if the US withdraws? In fact, just the opposite.

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