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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

U.S. Soldiers battling hard in Iraqi city

Mosul went from having first the 3/2ID and then the 172nd SBCT from 2004-2006 patrolling its streets and managing violence to having only one battalion in late summer 2006... where was the 172nd SBCT sent? Baghdad.

Tal Afar, just 30 miles west of Mosul, went from having first COL(P) H.R. McMaster's 3rd ACR and then COL(P) Sean MacFarland's 1/1AD patrolling its streets and managing violence from 2004-2006 to having one battalion in 2006... where were these troops sent? Ramadi.

What cities are safer today than in 2006? Baghdad and Ramadi.

What cities are less safe today than in 2006? Mosul and Tal Afar.

What cities are next door to Kurdistan and Turkey? Mosul and Tal Afar.

What two entities have terroritorial claims/interests in Northern Iraq? Kurdistan and Turkey.

Is all of this coincidental? I think not.

Has the surge worked? See mixed results above...

The fact of the matter is we still need more troops to "win," even after the famed surge. Related, but a little off topic, I wanted to ask the question, "Whose side are we on when it comes to the Kurds and the Turks?" Turkey is not just any member of NATO, but an Arab member. Meanwhile, the Kurds, frankly, love us! They, to me, are as American as apple pie. We need to solve this problem before it comes down to the pro-American Kurds versus a NATO ally. Or perhaps we could leverage their mutual interests in Northern Iraq into two different "security" agreements whereby the Kurds and Turks manage Northern Iraq for us? I guarantee there would be less violence after the initial, using a phrase made famous by the Kagans, "brilliant offensive."

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