News Item: U.S., Iraqi Troops Battle Dozens of Insurgents
Winter is over in Iraq. The activities of millitants over the past few days signifies one of two things: an indication of a real shitstorm that's about to come, or truly the last gasp of an organized insurgency. The former is my opinion, the latter is the opinion you'll read in various corporate media reports.
There's two things that are particularly concerning about last weekend's Battle of Abu Ghraib (Parts 1 and 2) and today's coordinated defensive position by militants (and subsequent firefight) in Baghdad.
The first is the fact that the firefights in the past couple of days have not been the work of one or two people with a Kalashnikov or an RPG launcher, or the trunk of a car loaded with some of that 380 tons of missing RDX. We're talking about coordinated attacks with literally dozens - platoon strength - of fairly well armed men. To me, this indicates a somewhat sophisticated command and control structure. These aren't angry mobs throwing rocks.
The second is that it's just now starting to warm up in Iraq, meteorlogically. The past few months have been, relatively speaking, somewhat quiet. This fact, coupled with the apparent ferocity of the latest attacks would seem to indicate that there's been some detailed planning and regrouping ongoing within the command structure of the militants.
The insurgency seems to be, once again, changing tactics. Past statements by U.S. and coalition commanders have indicated that this is the most frustrating part of dealing with the mess. Once the "good guys" have figured out how to somewhat deal with one tactic (for example, IED's), the "bad guys" back off and morph their strategy into something else.
I'm starting to feel like this summer is the end game in Iraq - either the entire place will be leveled like Fallujah, or the Bushies will be declaring victory, even as they latch onto the rails of the last helicopter departing the Green Zone.