Friday, March 17, 2006

Will it work this time?

From the confines of our compound, most of the action last night was from round one of the tournament. Otherwise, it was business as usual. Looking from our rooftop, a few helicopters were firing flares. We see plenty of helicopters every night, which fly at a higher altitude than during daylight. There was no indication that the US had launched its largest air campaign since 2003, which we learned about through the BBC.

A coworker who has previous experience in the military thinks these night patrols are useful as a "show of force." The pictures of all the helicopters lined up on the runway before the Samarra operations suggest that this is part of the military's tactic. The reasoning doesn't make sense to me. Do the planners believe that the insurgents forgot that there are 130,000 American troops in their country? If the rationale behind the new air assault was to destroy insurgent operations in Samarra, it's been tried before. Maybe this time it will be successful, but it seems more likely that the insurgents will move to another area.


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