< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://davejustus.com/" >

Monday, September 20, 2004

December Offensive announced

ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

US and Iraqi security forces are planning a major offensive in December to claim back insurgent strongholds such as Fallujah, Ramadi and Samarra. The new security plan has been drafted by the top US general in Iraq, George Casey, and the Iraqi Interim Government. December is the earliest that the new Iraqi security forces will be fully trained and operational and it falls between the November presidential elections in the United States and the planned Iraqi elections in January. Brigadier General Nigel Alwn-Foster who works on training the new Iraqi Army, told reporters that a December offensive bore risks but the risk would be less then than now because there would be more Iraqi forces available. He said chances for a victory would be high in December. By then more than 7,000 members of Iraq's elite intervention force would be ready to push into so-called no go areas like Fallujah which is seen as a source of suicide bombings and a hideout for Al Qaeda linked terrorists like Abu Mussab al Zarqawi.
via Command Post In the comments at the Command Post there is some discussion about why this offensive would be announced ahead of time. I thought that I would offer my opinions on that. First, the blatantly political. A December offensive is after the U.S. elections. Announcing an offensive now give George Bush the ability to say he has a plan, without having any risk of the plan failing before the elections. Having the offensive announced now, will also give political cover to continue the operation even if Bush should lose the election in November. Also, obviously a major offensive needs to take place before January will obviously have to take place if the Sunni triangle is going to participate in the Iraqi elections. More important however is the strategic and tactical aspects. Usually in warfare the element of surprise is of huge importance. However, in this it is much less useful than the psy-op of the bad guys knowing this is coming. The first stage of this plan has already taken place. We have ceded territory to the terrorists/insurgents, giving them an area to call their own. Now, we are giving them time to prepare a defense of this area. We are doing this because we want a pitched battle. If we can find them, we can kill them and if they choose to defend their territory we can find them. Alternatively they can chose to go into hiding. If they do this, first off they lose face and appear weak. That alone would make this operation a partial success. It would weaken the moral of their members and cause more of the general populous to throw in with the government, leading to more information for the good guys to use. In either case, they have to start diverting resources from attacks to other measures, either to defend their current holdings or to maintain secrecy. Lowering the number of offensive operations the terrorists can take place over the next few months is also a positive step.


Post a Comment

<< Home