Parallels with Vietnam becoming ominous for US commanders (Irish Times, subscriber-only). An interesting view on the situation Iraq:
US commanders in Iraq now believe that during the invasion, lower-echelon Iraqi troops mounted a token defence against US armour and air power while thousands of Republican Guard members went to ground in order to wage a prolonged guerrilla war during the subsequent occupation.
As the current attacks evolve in sophistication and momentum, US troops believe that the current phase of the war is not an ad-hoc development, but part of a pre-planned strategy designed to frustrate US plans to rebuild Iraq.
Further indicators as to the source of the insurgency lie in the weaponry and tactics employed. US convoys and patrols are repeatedly attacked with IEDs configured as roadside bombs along with RPG strikes. … It is believed that the plastic explosives and RPGs were released from military stores in the run-up to the invasion and pre-deployed among the population for a war of attrition.
Wounding rather than killing the enemy is a classic feature of this type of war of attrition. By wounding as many enemy troops as possible, the guerrilla army ties up the resources of the occupying force as it seeks to evacuate and treat its personnel.
The architects of the current attacks recognise that it is far more expensive for the US to medically evacuate and treat injured soldiers than to simply process them for burial. For the insurgents, the psychological effect of their attacks is greatly enhanced with families and politicians in the US confronted with mutilated and disfigured soldiers returning from Iraq.
It would appear that the war in Iraq did not end on May 1st. It simply entered a new phase designed to render Iraq ungovernable.
No ‘US commanders’ are named, so it’s all off-the-record.
Humour: on a lighter note, BBC Radio 4’s Loose Ends, recorded in the Spiegeltent in Dublin last weekend, featuring ‘writers Anne Enright and John Arden, Desmond Guinness of the Irish Georgian Society, comedian Dara O’Briain, Chieftain Paddy Moloney and Loose Ends regular Emma Freud.’