July 09, 2005

Baghdad Progress?


"...violent incidents in the Iraqi capital are declining since Iraq's U.S.-backed forces launched an operation against insurgents in the city six weeks ago.

The commander of U.S. forces in Baghdad, Maj. Gen. William G. Webster Jr., said car bombings had dropped from 14 to 21 a week in May to about seven or eight a week now. But he said it was “very difficult to know” whether the insurgency has been broken."

I'll offer the guess that the insurgency is far from broken, but it may well be possible that the Baghdad insurgents have reduced bombings for a number of reasons.

  • They may be low logistically, either in detonators, munitions, or transport options. I view this option as unlikely, but possible.
  • They may be low on bomb-builders. As arrests have increased it is possible that the insurgency in Baghdad is facing a manpower shortage. This is more likely than a shortage in munitions, but is still probably not the root cause of decreased bombings.
  • The most disturbing option is that the insurgency has cut down on minor operations to focus on a major attack. While I doubt that this is the case, it is not inconceivable.
  • The most hopeful option is that the native Iraqi insurgents have started to realize that the random murder of Iraqi citizens is not breaking their resolve, and instead, it is hardening them against the insurgency. If this is the reason for declining attacks, it could mean that at least the native insurgents may be considering other options, including a political solution.

I think it premature to declare Baghdad insurgency "broken," but these are certainly developments worth watching.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at July 9, 2005 08:41 AM | TrackBack