Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Iraq Doomsday Report

At Young Americans, Pat Dollard blogs on the Doomsday report from Stratfor.

Pat writes:

According to local press reports verified by a confidential military source in Iraq, the real story behind Muqtada Al Sadr’s order for the Mahdi Army to “suspend” its attacks, and his stated goal of “reorganizing” it, is that he is attempting to purge it of Iranian-backed agents who now control huge chunks of the organization. Much like the Sunnis found out that their ally Al Qaeda was no more than a nefarious invader looking to wrest control of their territory, Al Sadr is discovering that his ally Iran is engaged in doing the same thing to him.

Clearly, al-Sadr lives as a free man because the United States and the Iraqi government believe al-Sadr can be flipped. If he is flipped, the last of the serious enemies in Iraq will have been isolated and targeted for destruction. The key players in Iraq's dual insurgency have always been the Sunni dominated Al Qaeda group and the Iranian backed Shiite Jaish al-Mahdi elements. Al Qaeda is nearly finished as a fighting force. Jaish al-Mahdi still has enough political and financial support to fight on.

The clock is counting down to March, when at least some of the surge troops will rotate out of Iraq and draw our forces down to pre-surge levels. That leaves three strategic objectives:

1. Complete the neutralization of Al Qaeda in Iraq.

2. Flip Moqtada al-Sadr and bring his militias into the coalition fold (al-Sistani's Badr Brigades are not fighting the coalition).

3. Eliminate or neutralize the Iranian backed JAM forces.

A fourth strategic objective should be discussed--crippling Iran's ability to supply finance and logistics support to its proxy forces in Iraq. Sooner or later, the U.S. will have to draw down and leave a largely special forces and civil affairs COIN presence. When that happens, we have to make sure that Iran does not step in and attempt to fill the void. We can not let Iran gain another ounce of influence, and we can not let them solidify anything gained to date.

The enemy is to the east of Baghdad, and it is the same enemy Leonidas and Alexander the Great faced. The enemy is Persia.