I have been searching quite a bit for news and opinion on the operations going on in Basra in Iraq. Honestly, I don’t think we have enough information to make an informed conclusion about what’s going on. There are several places I’d recommend your looking. First, check out Bill Roggio’s Long War Journal. Bill seems to be pretty much on top of what’s happening there.
Second, check out Pat Lang’s blog. Col. Lang is very well-informed himself and his correspondents add additional dimension to his posts. Just keep scrolling. I note with modesty that Col. Lang’s thoughts confirm what I’ve been saying here.
Finally, be certain to read Anthony Cordesman’s Washington Post op-ed. His take is that regardless of the outcome Iraq will lose:
EVEN if American and Iraqi forces are able to eliminate Al Qaeda in Iraq, there are still three worrisome possibilities of new forms of fighting that could divide Iraq and deny the United States any form of “victory.”
One is that the Sunni tribes and militias that have been cooperating with the Americans could turn against the central government. The second is that the struggle among Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen and other ethnic groups to control territory in the north could lead to fighting in Kirkuk, Mosul or other areas.
The third risk — and one that is now all too real — is that the political struggle between the dominant Shiite parties could become an armed conflict.
Read the whole thing.