Sunday, June 17, 2007

Big Offensive Against Iraq

From New York Times:

G.I. Open Big Offensive Against Iraq
Published: June 17, 2007

With the influx of tens of thousands of additional combat troops into Iraq now complete, American forces have begun a wide offensive against Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia on the outskirts of Baghdad, the top American commander in Iraq said Saturday.

The commander, Gen. David H. Petraeus, in a news conference in Baghdad along with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, said the operation was intended to take the fight to Al Qaeda’s hide-outs in order to cut down the group’s devastating campaign of car bombings.

The comments by General Petraeus were a signal that the United States military had yet again entered a new phase in Iraq, four months after the start of the so-called troop surge and a security plan focused on dampening sectarian violence within Baghdad. They reflected an acknowledgment that more has to be done beyond the city’s bounds to halt a relentless wave of insurgent attacks that have undercut attempts at political reconciliation.

The offensive also comes at a time in the war when there are increasing American casualties and rising domestic pressure to show results or begin troop withdrawals, and just three months before a formal assessment of the military buildup President Bush ordered.

Robert M. Gates said that we are beginning to see some dividends. Gen. Petraeus isn't so sure: the results of the Baghdad security push has been mixed so far.

Tens of thousands of additional combat troops in Iraq, my god, when will it end?


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