Iraqi resistance deepens

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Jul 7 06:34:32 MDT 2003


In Postwar Iraq, the Battle Widens
Recent Attacks on U.S. Forces Raise Concerns of a Guerrilla Conflict

By Thomas E. Ricks and Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, July 7, 2003; Page A01

Recent Iraqi attacks on U.S. troops have demonstrated a new tactical
sophistication and coordination that raise the specter of the U.S.
occupation force becoming enmeshed in a full-blown guerrilla war, military
experts said yesterday.

The new approaches employed in the Iraqi attacks last week are provoking
concern among some that what once was seen as a mopping-up operation
against the dying remnants of a deposed government is instead becoming a
widening battle against a growing and organized force that could keep tens
of thousands of U.S. troops busy for months.

Pentagon officials continue to insist that the U.S. military is not caught
in an anti-guerrilla campaign in Iraq, that the fighting still is limited
mainly to the Sunni heartland northwest of Baghdad and that progress is
being made elsewhere in the country. "There's been an awful lot of work
done," Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, told "Fox News Sunday" in an interview taped last week. "A lot of
the country is relatively stable."

But a growing number of military specialists, and some lawmakers, are
voicing concern about trends in Iraq. There is even some quiet worry at the
Pentagon, where some officers contend privately that the size of the U.S.
deployment in Iraq -- now about 150,000 troops -- is inadequate for force
protection, much less for peacekeeping. The Army staff is reexamining force
requirements and looking again at the numbers generated in the months
before the war, said a senior officer who asked not to be named.

"If you talk to the guys in Iraq, they will tell you that it's urban combat
over there," the officer said. "They all are saying, 'What we have is not
enough to keep the peace.' "

"In Iraq," Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), chairman of the intelligence
committee, said on CNN's "Late Edition" yesterday, "we're now fighting an
anti-guerrilla . . . effort."

Sen. Carl M. Levin (Mich.), the senior Democrat on the Armed Services
Committee, said: "Our troops are stretched very, very thin. We should ask
other countries" to send troops, including Germany, France, India and Egypt.

"It is an absolute mystery to me" that NATO has not been asked to authorize
the deployment of member forces in Iraq, Levin, who just returned from a
three-day visit to Iraq, said yesterday on NBC's "Meet the Press."
Committee Chairman John W. Warner (R-Va.) noted, however, that the
administration anticipates "30,000 troops from other nations will be
involved before year's end."

But it is not clear that those foreign troops will be forthcoming in the
numbers expected, especially if fighting in Iraq intensifies.

"The increasing enemy activity in Iraq is very unsettling," said retired
Marine Lt. Col. John Poole, a specialist in small-unit infantry tactics.
"It could mean that the situation has started to escalate into a guerrilla
war."

full: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/articles/A17958-2003Jul6.html

====

3 U.S. Soldiers Killed in Baghdad
Infantryman Shot at University Campus

By Molly Moore
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, July 7, 2003; Page A12

BAGHDAD, July 7 (Monday) -- Three U.S. troops were killed in separate
attacks here in a 13-hour period this weekend, including a soldier who was
shot in the neck Sunday as he walked out of a student cafeteria at Baghdad
University after buying a soft drink, according to witnesses and U.S.
military officials.

The first attack, on the campus of Iraq's most prestigious university at
midday Sunday, unsettled U.S. military officers, who said that until then,
the campus had been tranquil and welcoming toward U.S. soldiers even as
assaults against troops have escalated across the chaotic city.

The second soldier died in a gunfight after his patrol was attacked by two
Iraqi gunmen in a north Baghdad neighborhood at 9:30 p.m. Sunday, a U.S.
military spokesman said today. One Iraqi gunman died in the incident and
the second was injured, he said.

The third soldier was killed when a bomb exploded near his vehicle in
another north Baghdad neighborhood at about 1 a.m. today, the spokesman said.

All three soldiers belonged to the 1st Armored Division. The military has
not released their names, pending notification of family members.

In the attack at the university Sunday, students and faculty members who
were searched by U.S. military police as they left the campus said the U.S.
soldiers -- some of whom live in a building on the grounds -- are far too
complacent and unaware of the undercurrent of hostilities at the
university, which was run by Uday Hussein, a son of former president Saddam
Hussein.

"When that soldier went into the cafeteria, I told my friends, 'He doesn't
understand anything, he's crazy,' " said Ali Jumaa, 26, who said he was
sitting outside the student center and witnessed the attack. "He was an
easy target."

full: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/articles/A17536-2003Jul6.html


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