Thursday, May 26, 2005

A turning point

BBC reports that the Iraqi military is going to launch a massive 40,000 troop operation to sweep through Baghdad in order to find and destroy the militants in the city. This operation could be huge turning point in this war.

If it succeeds, the Iraqi government will have established that it can defend its own people with its own troops. Such a success could do lasting damage to the insurgency and could help the government gain the confidence of the Iraqi people.

If it fails, this could be a complete disaster. If the insurgents kill hundreds, or even thousands of Iraqi troops and manage to escape, the Iraqi government could permanently lose any real credibility it has with its own people. All indications are that the Iraqi military is not an effective fighting force. My brother, after returning from Iraq last year, told me that all the Iraqi troops he met were pretty much incompetent. I guess we'll find out if this is still the case.