Iraq: May 27, 2005

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The government has announced Operation Thunder, a major military operation to take place starting on Monday, the 30th. It seems strange that Coalition and Iraqi commanders have announced that next week they're going to begin a major cordon and search operation in Baghdad involving 40,000 troops and security personnel. Announcing such an operation in advance can only alert the enemy. Perhaps something else is afoot? Could the Iraqi and Coalition commanders be running an psychological warfare operation on the terrorists? 

Knowing that they're about to be the target of such a massive operation, may prompt the terrorists to break cover in order to concentrate in stronger defensive positions, and perhaps also to shift additional fighters into Baghdad. In addition, it would seem reasonable for them to attempt to move critical personnel out of the city. All of this activity would make the terrorists more visible, and thus more vulnerable

So perhaps publicizing "Operation Thunder" was a deliberate attempt to provoke hasty action by the terrorists? Then again, with the corruption rampant in Iraq, its known that many people in the government and security forces are also on the Baath Party payroll, and report upcoming military operations, and anything else that might get them a bonus from the bad guys. So making a public announcement eliminates some of the security problems. 

The war with the Baath Party and al Qaeda is reaching something of a crescendo, with there being an average of four car bombings a day for the last month, mostly against civilians. At the same time, the attacks against coalition and government targets have declined. The number of police patrols and raids are on the increase as well. "Operation Thunder" is an example of this, an undertaking that involves sealing off Baghdad with over 600 checkpoints and launching hundreds of raids against suspected terrorist locations.


 

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