Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Is This Al Tet?

I've noticed that our casualty rate is up this month. I've also noted that the insurgents are attacking in platoon strength in departure from past practice. The Baathists and their jihadi friends seem to be trying to reverse their declining fortunes with a dramatic success. So far no luck for them. The insurgents recently hit the Marines in the west:

"I think they're losing, so they're looking at the big attacks to gain some omentum back," said Marine Capt. Frank Diorio, commander of India Company at Camp Gannon, the Marine base near the city of Qaim on the border with Syria. "I give them credit it for it; they're looking for a big score. We're going to see this a lot more. But now we know so we can address it."

So is this their big offensive? Is this it? It is a far cry from their April 2004 offensive that had the MSM wetting their pants. Getting waxed attacking US bases is no way to win a war.

Still, this is a change and the fact that insurgents are willing to mass to attack hard targets indicates a determination that we should not discount. In the face of defeat, despite negotiations with some Sunnis to end the insurgency, some Sunnis will need to be killed and captured because they are willing to die rather than accept Shia dominance. The jihadis too will need to be killed off. They bought the all-day ticket and aren't about to quit Jihadworld alive.

I still think the odds of the insurgency ending soon are greater than the odds of it dragging on for a decade (on other than annoyance levels) but the hard core fighting this month so hard need to be pursued and hit before they attack. One day they might get lucky and that could reinvigorate the morale of the remaining insurgents. I still remember how the Iranians regained hope of victory after their Fao victory over the Iraqis in 1986 and so fought for another two years thinking victory was at hand.