I’m glad to see that American and Iraqi forces are on the offensive against terrorists in Iraq.
U.S. military commanders say the operation was largely carried out by Iraqi forces based on tips from other Iraqis.
Coalition forces have dubbed the assault “Operation Swarmer,” which is an operation consisting of about 1,500 soldiers in all, including the Iraqi Army’s 1st Brigade, 4th Division, the 101st Airborne Division’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team and the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade.
The assault is a combination of air and ground operations involving more than 200 tactical vehicles and more than 50 aircraft also participated in the operation.
According to the Coalition Press Information Center, initial reports indicate that a number of enemy weapons caches have been captured, containing artillery shells, explosives, IED-making materials, and military uniforms. Troops also captured several people, according to CPIC.
The thing that those who protest against the Iraqi Theatre in the War on Terror are in denial that we are in a world war against Islamic terror and fascism. American and coalition forces must strike pre-emptively whereever and whenever is necessary.
The level of “chatter” by al Qaeda operatives is currently as high or higher than in the months prior to 9-11, and the question in many parts of the U.S. and European intelligence communities is not if al Qaeda will strike again, but when. Much of the thinking centers on the near-term. This is also reflected in current corporate security alerts being circulated among elite business establishments.
There are several factors that point to al Qaeda at least having a plan for an imminent attack. The first is the January appearance of Osama bin Laden himself after months of silence. The second is the repeated warnings and boasts from bin Laden, Zawahiri and on al Qaeda web sites of impending action.
Several analysts I have spoken with believe the leadership of the historic al Qaeda would not raise expectations of an attack, especially at a time of intense competition with Zarqawi’s operation for the mantle of carrying out international jihad, without something important afoot. The risk of losing credibility is too high. Zawahiri is already viewed as the person carrying out action, while bin Laden and Zawahiri have been left in the roles of elder statesmen, respected but no longer operational in the field of battle.
One corporate risk analysis group reported something else of interest: A March 10 posting on al-Hesbah website, known for posting al Qaeda messages, carried a message from the Global Islamic Media Front. The message gives a final warning to the United States before carrying out what it said would be two devastating attacks. The second attack would not be launched until after Washington had time to respond to the first one, the message said.
Perhaps the Iraqi offensive will keep al Qaeda off guard, perhaps not. But I’d rather have a President willing to use American force against our enemies than one from a political party who thinks our military is the enemy.