Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Spook 86 Gives Us the Real Deal

As an antidote to The New Republic fairy tale we posted the other day, there’s an enthralling story, told in the cadences of military-ese, at the blog, In From the Cold. It recounts the outstanding success of the first Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron’s recent operation to secure an area north of Baqubah that was held by the ISI - Islamic State of Iraq.

Here’s a snip of the operational summary that Spook 86 posted:

On 11 July 2007 Bravo (Strike Force 300) 5-73 CAV moved to the FOB Warhorse Helicopter landing zone during hours of limited visibility to stage on Black Hawk (UH-60) and Chinook (CH-47) helicopters for the Air Assault Raid on Objectives Red, White, and Blue.

The target was an Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQIZ) safe haven north of Baqubah, and east of Khalis, Iraq. Intelligence was developed primarily through local Iraq civilians. Shias and Sunnis directed us to this area, which was once a peaceful tribal farm land, but now overrun by Wahabbi extremists under the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI).

Having given the target, the summary goes on to explain the mission, purpose, and concept of the operation…again, in perfect military-ese. Too bad the editors at TNR didn’t immerse themselves in some after-action reports or operation summaries before deciding to run with the stories from “Scott Thomas.” Background reading in an unfamiliar field is a good way to discern the credibility of your author.

Again, from the summary:

We cleared from house to house, chicken coops, canals, and palm groves rooting out the enemy and forcing them into our planned kill zone. Along the way we discovered three large caches of RPGs, Heavy Machine Guns, AK-47’s, AQIZ propaganda, Iraqi Army/ police radios, military uniforms and over 17 IEDs. The significance of the IED cache is that they are unable to put them on the street, which equals saving coalition and Iraqi lives.

Through the night into the early morning we fought the enemy, dominating them with impunity…
- - - - - - - - - -
The end result was we killed 29 AQIZ fighters, captured 23, and most importantly saved eight severely tortured civilians being held captive. The hostages told us that they had been sentenced by the Islamic State of Iraq to be executed later that day, and we saved them from certain death. All eight hostages who were from all over Iraq are now safely at home with their loved ones.

The pride and sense of accomplishment shines through, doesn’t it? Go to Spook’s post and read about Bravo Troop 5-73 CAV, 82nd ABN DIV’s part in Operation Ithaca.

The beginning section, which covers how this cadre was formed, is interesting for the description of the leeway officers were given to choose personnel and have them train together extensively. One of the lessons learned from Vietnam was that soldiers are not mere ciphers, to be inserted and removed without affecting the whole group. You can’t move them in and out of the field of battle willy-nilly with no regard for the integrity and morale of the men involved. That was a hard-won lesson, a lesson many individual soldiers in Vietnam paid for dearly. It is encouraging to see that experience being drawn upon today.

Thanks to Spook for the story, which was given to family members of the troops and thus made its way to him.

As I said in the beginning, this is the antidote to TNR. You won’t read it in Time or WaPo, will you?



falcon_01 said...

Ha, you call this news? Today the Washington Post tells me to believe that Islam is peaceful and that the "The idea of unrepentant, religious violence being synonymous with Islam is a myth created by the West almost from the beginning of Islam itself"
"Public Voice Adds Edge to Democrat's Debate." I am sheep, hear me baaah! LOL ;-)

Seriously, the stuff in WaPo is SCARY. People actually read it and believe it! They sway the opinions and mislead countless Americans into staunchly opposing the only courses of action that will keep this nation free.

Heaven forbid they actually post anything in bold that conveys success. If you scroll down a little bit you will see that a top Talliban Commander Dies in Raid, but every other piece of news is spun so negatively as to disparage the reader.
That we are even talking with Iran, a major source of our problems, shows we've lost our marbles.

Dymphna said...

That ROP business in the WaPo is part of a major assault on our inteligence that started on Sunday in the Outlook section. It's being coordinated by WaPo, Newsweek, Georgetown and the usual Muslim organizations.

This is all a softening up for the big demo in Sept when Petraeus is due to give his report. There will be demonstrations and lots of distraction from the fact that we're getting somewhere in Iraq.

mikej said...

I seem to recall reading similar reports during the Vietnam war. They had no effect on the final outcome. Of course, things could be different this time.

During the Vietnam war, America was still the world's largest manufacturer, largest exporter, and largest creditor. We could afford to spend several million dollars (when our gold-backed dollar bought a T-bone steak or more than three gallons of gas) to put fifty-odd enemy fighters out of action.

Nowadays, America imports most of its manufactured goods and and most of its petroleum, and has become the world's largest debtor. Our money is fiat money, or Monopoly money, as I like to call it. If we print several trillion dollars more of it to finance the altruistic Iraq war, there's a danger that our foreign suppliers will stop taking it, or will force a sharp devaluation of it. I certainly hope that our troops are home before that happens.

Of course, if we could adopt a non-altruistic, self-interested, economic war aim and simply conquer Iraq and the Arabian peninsula, then the war might begin to make sense.

Dymphna said...


I just figured out who you really are: you're the reincarnation of Teddy Roosevelt and you want us to use a big stick to subdue the natives.

You're almost a century too late, Mr. R. Wouldn't work. You seem to think our invasion of Iraq was not out of self-interest. I disagree. The fact that it was handled badly -- in my estimate, deliberately fouled by State Department flunkies in 2003 -- does not change our self-interest in keeping the fighting over there.

Your "solution" would give the major ME actors the perfect cover for going nuclear on a "rogue" state: us.

mikej said...


You really puzzled me. Please explain how fighting in Iraq prevents any of the millions of Muslims who run loose in America from attacking us here. I admit that we haven't had any major attacks since 9/11/01, but I can't credit the Iraq war or anybody in the federal government for that. The most effective way to prevent domestic terrorist attacks would be to expel all of the Muslims in the country. Yeah, I know it's unconstitutional, but so is most everything else that the government does.

It's ridiculous to believe that Muslims need an excuse to use nuclear weapons against us. I expect that only their fear of massive American nuclear retaliation has prevented them from doing so. We still have many more nuclear weapons mounted on effective delivery systems than they have.

Anyway, what's wrong with using a big stick to subdue the uncivilized while we still can? That's pretty much what the Bush administration is doing, isn't it? My complaints concern the administration's foolish strategy and tactics. I hate to see American blood and treasure squandered to no good purpose.

Whiskey said...

I'll explain it to you Gringo --

Osama, Qutb, Khomeni, Khameni, Ahmadinejad, Nasrullah, Zawahari, and more have claimed: American can and will be conquered if we just kill enough Americans.

Being defeated in Iraq by AQ and Iran gives them the green light to nuke us, with impunity, through deniable cut-outs. Heck AQ is not even a state. Though they may control Pakistan soon as Musaharraf topples in slow-mo.

It's as simple as that. Failing to do SOMETHING to deter attacks gets us nuked. Lil Kim will sell to anyone, Pakistan is almost in AQ's grasp, and Iran is racing towards nukes.

Caveat: We could withdraw from Iraq without a nuke-me sign on our cities if we did something frightful on our way out. Say destroying Pakistan's nukes and Iran's nuke infrastructure, regardless of casualties. However the political will to do this ZERO.

As the run-up to WWII proved, Western nations are inherently pacifistic, appeasement driven, and dominated by a feminine response to obvious threats: appeasement and pretending the issue doesn't exist. Failing to deter aggressive regimes has a proven cost. Even more costly since we are talking about not regimes per-se but the PEOPLE.

Given that we are engaged in a war against Muslims and Islam it seems to me to be worth the 1% of GDP we spend on Iraq to gain allies, critical intelligence, exposure to the enemy (so we can learn, faster, than they can) and the crucible for new technologies.

Bottom line: we have dangerous enemies. Being weak gets us beaten, as Putin said after Beslan. You'll note HE had no more problems after he used Chechen proxies to simply level Grozny and massive reprisals.