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January 15, 2008

Bombing Ourselves in the Foot - Diyala Style
Posted by Patrick Barry

Buried within this piece from CBS and the AP is this troubling kernel of information:

“Still, the tree-lined farm region is more difficult terrain for fighting insurgents than the desert of Anbar, suggesting Diyala may not have seen the last of al Qaeda in Iraq. Compounding the difficulty for the military is the checkerboard pattern of Shiite and Sunni communities adjacent to one another.”

Violence has escalated as insurgents pour into Diyala from Anbar province but less attention has been paid to Diyala’s geographic and demographic peculiarities, which may affect the scope and intensity of the fighting. 

When viewed in this light, the recent round of bombings become more interesting. As Max has pointed out, air strikes are a rather counter-productive tactic for a counter-insurgency strategy, and it may be that the most recent strikes presage the challenges US troops will face as they focus their attention on Diyala.   


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Condolences to the family and friends of those 9 heroic soldiers. Try as one might, there''s no way to avoid casualties in war, there were even 150 killed in Desert Storm. Those 9 and all of the others have died heroically and demeaning their presence in Iraq and what and why they did what they did demeans their deaths and that''s repugnant. Those soldier''s death were meaningful. This Desert Storm veteran appreciates their sacrifices as well as their family and friends.

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