Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Secret Of Success In Mosul

Michael Yon writes another fabulous post on the Coalition success in Mosul, where the US military and Iraqi police are steadily whittling the insurgents down to nothing. It may be the biggest success story you were never told by the media. Apparently when Americans or Iraqi citizens bleed, it leads. But when the insurgents bleed to death, its not news because it doesn't support the story the media wants to tell.

While the liberal media paint Iraq as Vietnam, Yon tells the real deal in Mosul:

"While open warfare still rages parts of Iraq, in Mosul the war is becoming more like police work. Most of the top enemy leadership in Mosul has been killed or captured, and the replacements of the replacements of the replacements are the new targets. But these new quarterbacks recruited from the fans in the stadium are progressively less adept at staying alive in an increasingly terrorist-hostile environment. They face an increasingly sophisticated ISF. The rates of incline (the ISF) and decline (the terrorists) sharply intersect to form an “x.” The ISF grows stronger every day, while the insurgents weaken and stumble.

"The people of Mosul, too, have demonstrated newfound trust in their new government; an expectation that sometimes extends to patience with the inevitable glitches that have to be worked out of any new system. In a period of months, they have gone from not talking with the Americans to providing a flood of information that increases in scope and value, resulting in the elimination of terrorists, and the discovery and removal of weapons and bomb-making materials, items they don’t want near their children."

One of the main tactics for taking down the terrorists is the cascading raid:

"The police were also developing their own intelligence and acting on it, even becoming adept at “the cascading raid,” as I began to call it. The Americans do it often, but call it “the domino effect.” Watching these raids unfold, I saw the effect was more like a cascade. Raid cascades happened like this: a bad guy is caught, and tells where other terrorists are, who are then quickly caught, and they in turn rat out a few more. One terrorist might lead soldiers to three more, who might lead them to four more, who might lead them to another one. Sometimes the cascades lasted only a few hours and netted perhaps a half a dozen fighters before petering out. Other cascades lasted days and netted dozens.

"An example of a typical cascade happened when the 5-West police captured two terrorists who were handing out Jihad literature. During interrogation, they ratted the location of their cell leader. The police raided the cell leader's house, killed one terrorist and captured seven others. The cell leader quickly broke, giving up the identity of his boss. The police continued the momentum of the cascade, capturing the higher ranking cell leader, who in turn gave interrogators the location of a large cache of weapons, mortars, and ammunition. The weapons cache validated the capture and validity of all the previously captured terrorists in the cascade."

Yon reports that the terrorists are the terrorists biggest enemies:

Strangely, foreigners captured by Americans in Mosul always seemed intent on telling every secret they knew as fast as possible. This seems counter-intuitive. It seems reasonable that the foreigners would have the strongest resolve. But in fact they are alone, without support and very easy prey for local terrorist cell leaders. Terrorists feeding on terrorists. It's no wonder that when they are captured, foreign fighters typically tell everything.

From these "tell-all" interrogations, we've learned how local insurgents recruit foreigners, including how they coerce some of the “jihadists” to carry out homicide attacks. Time and again, the soldiers in Mosul would capture foreigners, and the jihadists would tell everything. The Deuce Four captured a Libyan who then complained loudly to the Americans that the Iraqis wanted him to commit suicide while killing Iraqi police. He wanted to fight Americans mano-a-mano, and the alternate plan was not a worthy substitute to his thinking. Strangely, in sense, the Americans rescued an enemy from his enemies, who were also our enemies.

Lieutenant Colonel Kurilla comments on the seemingly endless number of Number Two terrorists that the Coalition is killing or capturing:
"Did you ever notice that the news always says 'Top Zarqawi Lt or aide arrested'? You would think that the Army is trying to dupe the press or else that there are thousands of Zarqawi Lieutenants. But the fact is, we capture so many of the top leadership that they replace them and we fail to say that this was the replacement cockroach."
Read Yon's entire post for yourself. You'll learn more about what's really happenning on the ground in Iraq than if you read the newspaper all summer.


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