Monday, June 04, 2007

Attacks up, more complicated in Iraq

Bad news:
The overall percentage of U.S. military fatalities caused by roadside bombs had dipped from more than 60 percent late last year to 35 percent in February. It then rose again to 70.9 percent in May, according to research by the independent Web site Gains in defeating the bombs have not resulted in fewer deaths because the number of bombs -- and the lethality of some types -- have increased, military officials said.

Insurgents are also staging carefully planned, complex ambushes and retaliatory attacks as they target U.S. troops, the officials said. While few in number, these include direct assaults on U.S. military outposts, ambushes in which American troops have been captured, and complex attacks that use multiple weapons to strike more than one U.S. target. For example, attackers will bomb a patrol and then target ground forces or aircraft that come to its aid.

"We are starting to see more sophistication and training in their attacks," said a senior military official in Baghdad. While the vast majority of attacks are still relatively simple and involve a single type of weapon, "clearly the trend is going in the wrong direction," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.
One can assume, based on previous trends, that we will see similar tactics in Afghanistan eventually. 18 months? 2 years? That's my guess, on the outside. Maybe faster if the US gets out of Iraq -- there'll be thousands of angry men with guns who are still itching for live-fire excercises against the Great Satan, and Afghanistan will be the best option if they actually leave Iraq. (Something I don't see happening until January, 2009.)

1 comment:

Flinger said...

How good is the evidence that the insurgency is still foreign fighters? I guess this is another way of asking the unthinkable -- does Al Qaeda really exist? Or, more plausibly, is it really an entity? To the extent there is any it there, is it better described by some other words -- a loose network of anti-american sentiment? an unrelated collection of violent anti-western activists who bother to call themselves al-qaeda? a list of actual organizations that call themselves al-qaeda but are in fact not in any contact?

Isn't there a politics to the label?

Or am I just totally and completely out to lunch? I could be out to lunch.