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Woodward: Surge Was Only A 4th Factor

Gee, what timing for Mr. Woodward’s latest revelations.

John McCain’s biggest selling point just happens to be that he was one of the first advocates of the surge. That he risked his career to push it.

But lo and behold it suddenly turns out that the surge was only the fourth most important factor in the turnaround in the Iraq War. If that.

For, according to Woodward, practically everything else was far more important, and of course completely independent of the surge — such as the improved intelligence and the “Anbar Awakening.”

From the DNC’s Washington Post:

Why Did Violence Plummet? It Wasn’t Just the Surge.

By Bob Woodward
Monday, September 8, 2008; A09

Throughout the summer of 2007, as the troop surge in Iraq reached full strength, Gen. David H. Petraeus kept waiting for the tide to turn. By summer’s end, the U.S. commander in Iraq got his wish. The high of 1,550 attacks a week fell below 800 — nearly a 50 percent reduction. It has continued to fall over the past year.

Why did the violence drop so dramatically?

On one level, the surge was beginning to have its intended effect. Doubling the U.S. forces in and around Baghdad from 17,000 to nearly 40,000, coupled with Petraeus’s counterinsurgency game plan, had helped quell some of the sectarian and other violence that had defined the previous year and a half…

In Washington, conventional wisdom translated these events into a simple view: The surge had worked. But the full story was more complicated. At least three other factors were as important as, or even more important than, the surge. These factors either have not been reported publicly or have received less attention than the influx of troops.

Beginning in the late spring of 2007, the U.S. military and intelligence agencies launched a series of top-secret operations that enabled them to locate, target and kill key individuals in groups such as al-Qaeda in Iraq, the Sunni insurgency and renegade Shia militias, or so-called special groups. The operations incorporated some of the most highly classified techniques and information in the U.S. government…

But a number of authoritative sources say the covert activities had a far-reaching effect on the violence and were very possibly the biggest factor in reducing it…

A second important factor in the lessening of violence was the so-called Anbar Awakening, in which tens of thousands of Sunnis turned against al-Qaeda in Iraq and signed up with U.S. forces

For months, U.S. forces worked with tribal leaders, who had once fought the Americans, to build local security forces throughout Anbar. “We are the ones who saved our country,” Sheikh Ahmed Abu Risha, whose slain younger brother first allied himself with U.S. forces and who now serves as president of the Iraqi Awakening Council, said in an interview…

A third significant break came Aug. 29, when militant Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr ordered his powerful Mahdi Army to suspend operations, including attacks against U.S. troops

Sadr’s order marked an unexpected stroke of good luck, another in a series for the Americans

You see, it was all just dumb luck. And the “surge” had practically nothing to do with the improvements in Iraq.

Isn’t it just too incredible? But then again, we can always count on Mr. Woodward to bring us incredible news.

(Just as we can count on him to cover up significant stories, such as how Mr. Armitage leaked Ms. Plame’s identity, when such a cover-up is also good for the cause.)

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, September 8th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Woodward: Surge Was Only A 4th Factor”

  1. GL0120 says:

    Bob Woodward, the same Bob Woodward who interviewed the ex CIA director while the man was in a coma?
    The same Bob Woodward who described what happened in a room when he was never there?
    Okay, Bob said it, I believe it, that settles it.

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