Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Expert: Insurgents could counter surge through strategy

Soldiers on patrol in Baghdad yesterday.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- U.S. opponents in Iraq have credible options to defeat the new surge strategy, an expert said Wednesday.

Sunni insurgents and their allies could "stretch U.S. and ISF (Iraqi Security Forces) forces to their limit to cover all of the greater Baghdad area," Anthony H. Cordesman, who holds the Arleigh A. Burtke in strategy, wrote in an analysis published Wednesday.

This could push U.S. troops and their allies "to cover more and more area, and either to drain other areas of U.S. and Iraqi forces or force the U.S. (forces) and ISF be too thin on the ground to cover the entire city. They (could then) strike where U.S. and Iraqi forces are weakest. The United States can win in seven out of 10 districts in Baghdad and still lose," Cordesman wrote.

Alternately, "The insurgents and/or militias (could) appear to stand down or disperse, but carry out high-profile attacks that avoid military and security targets and focus on aid efforts, key civilians, and religious shrines and figures," Cordesman wrote.

Read the rest at UPI

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