"Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid" - Ronald Reagan

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Operation Medusa Update

The Telegraph has an extremely interesting article about the battle in Southern Afghanistan named Operation Medusa.
  • Originally NATO stated that killed over 500 Taliban. That number is now 1,100. In addition, 160 Taliban were captured and they are talking.
  • Hundreds of Taliban crossing the border at Quetta were waved on by Pakistani Border Guards. The good news is as they crossed in trucks across the border, they were killed by NATO aircraft.
  • NATO estimates the cost of ammunition dumps they have uncovered are worth 2.6 million pounds (about $5 million).
  • They destroyed a training camp for suicide bombers. The training camp had a surgical hospital and was to be used to penetrate Kandahar.
  • NATO Commanders are stating the Taliban could not have built up all this logistic capacity without support from the Pakistani Intelligence Service (ISI).
  • NATO Commanders are requesting their governments bluntly deliver a similar ultimatum to President Musharraf that President Bush delivered a few years ago, "Either you are with us or against us".
One of the things I have commented previously about in this blog is that President Bush has successfully gotten European countries involved in the War on Terror with NATO taking command of Afghanistan operations. It will be interesting to see how these governments react to the requests of their own field commanders now that their Soldiers are in the line of fire.

Another thing that must be pointed out about the end result of Operation Medusa. This unraveled the Taliban's offensive and plan to take back over Afghanistan. Loses of 1,100 Taliban, not including the 160 captured, $5 million in equipment, loss of training bases, and lack of security for their Lines of Communication (LOCs) are hard to replace and hard to overcome. This offensive was well sponsored, and it has been completely crushed by NATO forces.

Now that the winter is coming to Afghanistan, the Taliban have another six months to lick their wounds and devise another plan of attack. It will be interesting to see what next spring brings. It will also be interesting to see how European governments react to the loss of their Soldiers.

Islamists waging "intifada" against Paris Police

The Telegraph has a revealing story about radical Islamists waging an "intifada" against police in Paris noting that the situation is not a couple of youths here and there that confront police that are quickly brought to justice, but instead whole housing blocks that throw stones and Molotov cocktails at police who enter Muslim areas in Paris.

On average, 14 Police Officers are injured daily with over 2500 injured this year. French Police have requested armored vehicles to put down the "intifada".

Seven Paris Police Officers were recently injured when police attempted to stop a driver not wearing a seatbelt. The driver refused to stop and only did after ramming a police car. Scores of youths descended on the scene wounding seven officers.

Characterizing this as an "intifada" is appropriate. One wonders why the French do not understand, when faced internally with radical Islamists unrest, what Israel is going through. I can only guess they will begin to take this situation more seriously when suicide bombers begin going into Parisian cafes and blowing themselves up. This situation is only going to get uglier.

The beginning of the end for Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran.

Steve at Threatswatch reports of a recent meeting between Shin Bet security service chief Yuval Diskin, head of Jordan’s General Intelligence Department Mohammed al-Dahabi, head of Egyptian intelligence General Omar Suleiman as well as senior officials from two Persian Gulf states that do not maintain diplomatic ties with Israel.

All of these security chiefs agreed that not only did Palestine need a national unity government and the unity government must include the conditions set by the Quartet, but also Hamas' Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh should not head the government, even though they consider Haniyeh a moderate. The reason for not wanting Haniyeh as Prime Minister is that they feel he is a puppet for political bureau chief Khaled Mashal.

This story is interesting when coupled with the fact that it is being reported that Olmert recently met with a senior member of the Saudi ruling family - something both Olmert and Saudi officials are denying.

Secondly, this story is interesting when coupled with the fact that Rice's planned visit to the Middle East has the goal of strengthening Abbas.

So, we have the US, Palestine, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, possibly Saudi Arabia, and one other Arab country all agreeing to a national unity government in Palestine which will recognize conditions set by the Quartet and press to have Abbas rule the government and Hamas' Haniyeh influence reduced in the government. It is not often that all these parties agree to something, especially with regards to the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

It will be interesting to see what comes out of this visit next week.

Hamas' grand plan to gain power and reduce Abbas' influence when it captured Cpl Shalit has backfired as reported previously in this blog. Hezbollah's similar plan backfired keeping Syria marginalized and Iran's major terror weapons (Hezbollah's threat to Israel) has been shown to be a lark.

It appears several Arab governments are in unison to thwart Iran's push to influence Middle East politics, continue to marginalize Syria, and press ahead for real peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Undoubtedly, Iran's and Syria's influence in Iraq will also be discussed.

For all those folks who said Israel lost its recent war with Hezbollah and Iran now has increased influence in the Middle East, this week will see all of these efforts by Iran, Syria, Islamic Jihad, Hamas, and the Muslim Brotherhood which begin in December 2005 start to fade as the US, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia begin to work together to reduce the power of this axis.

Bush stated long ago, you are either with us or against us. While several Middle East nations have committed to various degrees to reduce terrorism on their own soil, this week will mark when all these Allies band together to fight terrorism external to their borders for peace and security in the Middle East.

The results of meetings this week will greatly benefit Iraq, the Palestinians, and Israel. It will mark the death of Iran, Syria, and their supported terrorists groups.

For all those who state Bush does not use diplomacy, watch this week and learn how diplomacy from strength is so much better than diplomacy from weakness. By attacking terrorists directly in Afghanistan and Iraq, and staying committed in these countries despite calls for pulling out, Arab nations are banding together to fight terrorism.

Watch for late November after the US elections and before the Iranian Assembly of Expert elections in mid-December 2006 as these same nations band together to stop Iranian nuclear enrichment. How will Iran react when US, Israeli, Jordanian, Egyptian, and Saudi Arabian airplanes are seen overhead destroying its nuclear facilities. Even Iran is not stupid enough to turn on all these Arab countries united with the US and Israel.

Baghdad returns to normal after day-long curfew

Reuters at Yahoo has an article entitled "Baghdad returns to normal after day-long curfew" after a security guard for the Sunni politician, Adnan al-Dulaimi, apparently gave up information that an complex attack on the green zone was imminent. The article goes on to explain that an attack like this was foiled in the past and listed other attacks that happened yesterday.

One thing the article does not elaborate on is the fact that both this attack and the previous similar attack were foiled and the fact that there has not been a successful complex attack on the green zone. Nor does the article elaborate on the fact that even though the terrorists plotting this attack most assuredly had insider information of security precautions inside the green zone, it was foiled by superior intelligence and quick reaction to intelligence by both American and Iraqi forces.

Try as they might, the terrorists in Iraq cannot plan, organize, and prepare a complex attack. While most assuredly they can put a VBIED in a market to kill and wound dozen of people, they cannot and have not for some time been able to organize and execute complex attacks against the government. The last one, the double VBIED attack on the Sheraton Hotel about a year ago, was also foiled while it was able to be partially executed. Now however, terrorists cannot even get to the execution phase of complex attacks without being compromised.

These facts point to increased abilities of Iraqi Security forces and Police and increased intelligence abilities of American and Iraqi forces. Increased intelligence points to the fact that not only are Iraqi and American forces intercepting SIGINT (signal intelligence) which by share volume may tell you an attack is imminent, but also are getting HUMINT (human intelligence). The difference is that HUMINT allows forces to foil attacks, where SIGINT more often than not only allows you to alert forces of an impending attack which you may then stop during execution.

These facts taken together point to the death of the insurgency as discussed several times in this blog. Namely, a successful insurgency must have both an unassailable base and tacit support of the populace. Both of these critical requirements have been taken away from the insurgency.

This attack was foiled after an insurgent, arrested in a politician's home, gave up intelligence. Now a politician's movements are pretty well known and will be reviewed to see where and when he went places, which may lead to more intelligence. The arrested insurgent obviously gave up much information for the curfew to be imposed on both foot and vehicular traffic. This intelligence will be reviewed and may very well lead to more arrests and foiled attacks.

The terrorists' ability to carry out a successful attack gives them a lot of motivation and propaganda. Conversely, their inability to carry out an attack not only limits the propaganda and motivation of the insurgency, but also jeopardizes members of the group and makes them extremely vulnerable to compromise at some future point. The politician is obviously compromised, but soon so will his base of support, in this case, most probably Sunni insurgents who will soon see their end.

As eight HVTs were arrested in the month of September, watch now many more HVTs to be arrested or killed in October. Continue to watch in the month of October as Operation Forward Together has another month under its belt. Continue to watch in the month of October as Anbar Tribal Leaders fight the terrorists. As these tribal leaders enlists their tribal members in the Iraqi Army, Anbar is certain to be contained in the coming months. Continue to watch Iraq as Iraqi Police and Security Forces grow stronger everyday. Continue to watch the death of the insurgency unfold.