Report: Denial as a Method of Counter-Insurgency Warfare

Mosul attackThe Center for Strategic and International Studies gives a scathing review of the Iraq situation in a recent report. The Australian has the news in US account of Iraq threat ‘fantasy’:

“It did not see the threat level that would emerge if it did not provide jobs or pensions for Iraqi career officers or co-opt them into the nation-building effort. … It acted as if it had years to rebuild Iraq using its own plans, rather than months to shape the climate in which Iraqis could do it,” he said.

Mr Cordesman said in the first year of the US occupation, Washington “failed to come to grips with the Iraqi insurgency … in virtually every important dimension”.

Under the heading Denial as a method of counter-insurgency warfare, the report accused the United States of minimising the insurgent and criminal threat in Iraq and of exaggerating popular support for US and coalition efforts.

Where there was once Baghdad Bob, there is now DC Don.

Related, the recent attack against the mess hall in Mosul points out how vulnerable the troops are and how savvy the insurgency has become. Insurgents picked the busiest time of day when the most people would be off-guard and in a single location.

The initial report of a rocket or mortar attack has morphed into a suicide bombing as the military begins to shape the story. I’m a tad incredulous to the suicide bomb story, as a report from a chaplain describes how a mortar team began firing on the casualties at the triage location near the hospital down the street (I’m guessing 30-45 minutes after):

Regardless of what some may say, these are not stupid people. Any attack with casualties will naturally mean that eventually a very large number of care givers will be concentrated in one location. They took full advantage of that. In the middle of the mayhem the first mortar round hit about 100 to 200 meters away. Everyone started shouting to get the wounded into the hospital which is solid concrete and much safer than being in the open. Soon, the next mortar hit quite a bit closer than the first as they “walked” their rounds toward their intended target…us. Everyone began to rush toward the building. I stood at the door shoving as many people inside as I could. Just before heading in myself, the last one hit directly on top of the hospital.

So there you have it. The military says an insurgent killed himself in a suicide attack, yet a mortar team was set up to fire on the triage site soon after? Now, it’s likely that it was a suicide bombing, but I’m betting it was the same mortar team and they just followed the action to get another hit in.

If this is any indication of how the insurgents are adapting to our procedures, then we are dealing with a far more sophisticated and intelligent rebel fighting force than our military gives credit for.

UPDATE: Gotta love The Poor Man for pointing out a fine example of how you can take this same event and butcher it with hoity-toity writing, not to mention blatant right-wing spin.

But the enemy ability to exploit the limits of American response and attack medical personnel with public relations impunity are examples of military advantages that arise from political restraints. To the extent the blogosphere can dispel the propaganda cover willingly provided by the Left, people on the home front can help the soldiers in the field. It is necessary to link the war criminal behavior of the enemy with the studied blindness of ‘sophisticates’ towards their most heinous crimes. They are twinned; with the former made possible by the latter.

And they call the left elitists? Too funny.

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