General: Quick Strikes Planned in Iraq

WASHINGTON (AP) - The No. 2 American commander in Iraq said Friday that coalition forces are planning “quick strike raids” aimed at smashing al-Qaida and other insurgents in far-flung parts of the country before the U.S. brings some of its buildup troops home.

Army Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno said that in a nation torn by violence from Sunni insurgents, Shiite militias and al-Qaida terrorists, right now al-Qaida is the biggest threat because it wants to establish a safe haven in Iraq.

“If we can, we want to finish them off,” he said of al-Qaida.

Speaking to Pentagon reporters by video conference from Baghdad, he also said commanders are planning in April to start withdrawing troops sent in as part of President Bush’s buildup - and complete the drawdown to pre-escalation levels by August 2008.

OK, maybe we’re finally getting somewhere, take the battle to the bad guys where the bad guys are, I just don’t know that telling the media is a good idea, if WE know about it, the bad guys know about it, and my fear is that they’ll just go ‘under ground’ until the heat is off…

Military operations launched since the escalation have helped coalition forces capture and kill insurgent leaders, disrupt their operations and retake some territory from them in main population centers, he said. Odierno asserted that coalition forces now “have a chance to really go after them and defeat them.”

Officials believe extremists are trying to regroup in northern Iraq, where American troop presence is much lighter, after being driven from strongholds in and around Baghdad. Odierno acknowledged the devastation of this week’s bomb attack in two northern Iraqi villages that officials say killed at least 500 people.

There is no doubt that the surge has been fairly successful, at least in Baghdad itself, and that has been my concern, that as the bad guys left Baghdad and it cooled down, would we actually pursue them and try to take them out, wherever they may be, and if we do, and if it works, and some sense of order can be seen in Iraq as a whole, not just Baghdad, then the surge was a lot more of a success than many predicted, including myself, but if the only thing that happens is that the bad guys get rearranged and return to business as usual once the surge is over and the extra troops have pulled out, well, same stuff, different day…

One thing about this story really bothers me, and that’s the statement made by Army Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno when he said, “If we can, we want to finish them off”, if we CAN?? If we CAN’T finish them off, then we haven’t done the job we needed to do, and once again that ‘Mission Accomplished’ thing will come back to haunt Bush even more…

It gives me some serious pause to think that we have the #2 General in Iraq saying something like that to begin with, if the United States military can’t completely pacify a nation the size of Iraq, I fear we are in DEEP poop if we ever have to enter a BIG war again…

The military has calmed areas of the country in the past, then moved on to other places only to find insurgents return to the just-calmed area. Commanders have said the extra troops from the buildup are helping them fight that problem now.

I sincerely hope they get it right this time, in Vietnam, U.S. forces would take an objective and then turn it over to the ARVN Army, and in no time at all they (ARVN) would lose it back to the NVA or the VC and we were right back to square 1, we don’t need to play that game for the next 20 years in Iraq, didn’t the USA learn anything from the Vietnam experience??

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General: Quick Strikes Planned in Iraq

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4 Responses to General: Quick Strikes Planned in Iraq

  1. Ranando says:

    This #2 should be fired for making that statement.

    Why the hell would you tell the enemy your coming?

    If the New York Times made that same statement, they would be called traitors, anti-American, Pro al-Qaeda. If Murtham, Kennedy or Clinton said it Hannity or Limbaugh would be all over them.

    How many Americans will die because of his statement?

    Who the Hell is running this war, a bunch of monkeys?

  2. gunz says:

    “didn’t the USA learn anything from the Vietnam experience??”

    Apparently not, but as the old saying goes, and who knows why, but history does repeat itself.

  3. Patrick Sperry says:

    Butter Bar Ray Odierno shut that fly trap! It is called OPSEC!

    Not Politics…

  4. Kate says:

    Why does the U.S. media keep announcing ‘our’ plans to the enemy? Do we really need to know what they are going to do? Would there have been such announcements during WWII???? Jumpin’ jehosephat!!!!

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