Bill Roggio on Threats Watch:
Major Tom Shoemake, the commander of the Civil Affairs Team in Hit, explains the mission, “Civil Military Operations is just another form of counterinsurgency warfare. Its predominantly a non-kinetic counterinsurgency tool. It takes place after the kinetic operations complete. After the fighting stops, you are not going through neighborhoods busting down doors, now you have to go in security and stabilization mode, you have to execute Civil Military Operations, you’ve got to get the power back on, drinking water is available, the essential services people need are there, the businesses are open. Its a whole different skill set.”
What this means is that a battle in Anbar has been won. But the war isn’t over.
The dispersed nature of the towns along the Western Euphrates River Valley was once seen as an obstacle, but is now working to the Coalition’s advantage. The small communities make it easier for the Coalition to determine the tribal relationships and inner workings of the cities, and easier to identify members of the insurgency.
Roggio notes that the insurgency still has strength in places, especially the larger cities where the wide range of people and sheer scale of things makes it more difficult to pick out the bad guys. Definitely worth a read.
He also notes that an Iraqi mechanized company, equipped with T-55 tanks and BMP armored personnel carriers, is now conducting patrols in Ramadi. That’s prep for the election, and it’s welcome news.