World War IV Daily

1.11.2006

1.11.2006


Syria Undermined Coalition Efforts In Iraq >>> For anybody who has been watching this issue closely, this is no surprise. This recent revelation follows the release of a book by Paul Bremer, who ran the interim Iraqi government after the US-led invasion in 2003. Syria continues to interfere in Iraq today, and is the main artery of foreign fighter infiltration in the country. Before the removal of Saddam, the Syrians and the Iraqis were quite close. Indeed, Syria is itself a Ba'athist regime, and the two countries cooperated with each other in many regards. A great deal of suspicion still remains surrounding possible Syrian involvement in the disappearance of Iraqi WMDs.

Spanish Soldiers In Iraq >>> Also from Bremer's book. His grievances with other members of the Coalition are hardly new. There are plenty of similar anecdotes from NATO operations in Kosovo, and the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu in Somalia is a textbook example of military command getting hosed up between nations. (In Mogadishu, US troops were placed under Pakistani command, a diplomatic nicety which indirectly contributed to the already disastrous operation which killed 18 US soldiers and--often forgotten--one Malaysian soldier. This brings us to a key issue concerning these 'Coalitions'. There are many situations in which military unilateralism is more effective. One chain of command, one language, one standard operating procedure. Throw in another force and things go to hell real fast. Even the United States and Britain, similar in all the aspects listed above, often butt heads while in the field together. Even the separate branches of the US military don't get along. So why bother with a Coalition? Because in this day and age, political support is just as important--if not more so--than military support. Also, many of these countries have taken advantage of the vast education opportunity of working alongside US forces. That's why you see countries like Azerbaijan or Uganda fielding troops in Iraq. Whatever capabilities their units--just a few hundred strong--bring to the table could just as easily be accomplished with another US brigade. But their military prowess is not the issue here: They came to Iraq to learn, and I for one appreciate their commitment, if not their combat capability.

OU Suicide Bombing >>> It's been a while since anyone made some noise about this issue. When it first happened, the blogosphere prided itself in carrying the story while the mainstream media ignored it. Well, the blogs have been silent about this for a few months now. For all the background on the story, go here. If you think this whole thing is 100% pure, un-cut, Colombian conspiracy, take 10 minutes of your life and read it anyway. You might be surprised.

Iraqi Insurgency: 2006 >>> Bill Roggio pens--types?--an excellent article on the future of the Iraqi Security Forces in 2006, which Roggio prophetically defines as the 'Year of the Police'.

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