Sunday, August 24, 2003

War News for August 24, 2003 Bring ‘em on: Attacks on US troops average 12 per day. Bomb explodes at Shi’ite mosque in Najaf; three Iraqis killed. Religious warfare in Najaf is one of the worst developments since the beginning of the war. I seriously doubt the administration is aware of the potential consequences for American troops caught between two sides and blamed by both. Attempted bombing of Baghdad bridge. (Second item in this Reuters story.) Ansar al-Islam denies responsibility for Baghdad UN bombing. CENTCOM reports US soldier drowned in Euphrates. CENTCOM reports soldier dies from “non-hostile gunshot wound.” Ethnic fighting continues in Kirkuk. Black market in Baghdad thrives under US occupation. Army parts shortage in Iraq. “Bradleys, which are being used heavily to provide security for supply convoys in Iraq, are putting on as many as 1,200 miles a month, compared to their usual 800 miles per year.” This is an unsustainable operations tempo no matter how you slice it. Further, every Bradley used to escort a logistics convoy is a Bradley that isn’t conducting counter-insurgency patrol. Aside from the problems created by a constrained supply system, we are conceding terrain other than base camps and main supply routes to the insurgents. When logistical sustainment becomes the main tactical effort, you have lost strategic initiative. Rummy, tell me again why we don’t need more troops. And Lt. AWOL, please tell me again how much “progress" we’re making.


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