The Iraq Report
From "New Way Forward" to New Commander.
11:00 PM, Feb 28, 2007 • By KIMBERLY KAGAN
Insurgencies and counterinsurgencies are complex. But they are also comprehensible. The fragments of information available in open sources form a cogent, overall pattern that policymakers and other informed observers can understand, just as they can understand any military operation.
General Casey's Mission Statement and Intent
Concept of Operations / Operational Design
American forces were particularly active during this period within Baghdad and in the belt of cities and towns that surrounds the capital (from Falluja south and east to Mahmudiyah, Iskandariyah, Salman Pak, north to Balad Ruz and Baqubah, west to Tikrit and Balad and thence back to Falluja). Most of these towns are within one or two hours' drive of Baghdad--easy commuting distance for businessmen and insurgents. Operations in Baghdad focused on clearing out significant insurgent strongholds and attempting to turn cleared areas over to Iraqi forces. Operations around Baghdad focused on disrupting insurgent networks that had established bases and built up weapons caches in towns and villages all around the capital. These networks move weapons and fighters along various routes from these bases to attack targets in Baghdad, Falluja, Baqubah, and elsewhere. Coalition operations focused on disrupting these networks by clearing out these bases. In some cases, U.S. forces remained behind after the clearing operations to keep the insurgents out. Most, but not all, of these operations were part of a larger effort to create the preconditions for the success of the Baghdad Security Plan, but they were not part of that plan, which was not yet operative during the period covered by this report. This period also saw operations in Anbar Province, in the north (Ninewah and Salah-ad-Din provinces), and to the south. These operations will be considered in subsequent reports.
Operations Outside of Baghdad: Disrupting Terrorist Networks
Many of the military operations in Iraq in January followed this pattern. MNF-I Press releases describe such activities weekly in various neighborhoods and suburbs of Baghdad. Beyond the capital, such targeted raids occurred in Tarmiya (series of raids, January 6-8); Risalah (January 14); Balad (January 12); al-Haswah (January 13); near Samarra (week of January 13); Jazeera (outside Ramadi, January 17); Falluja, Tikrit, North Karmah and the vicinity of eastern Balad (January 21, apparently coordinated).