Jim Dunnigan explains why taking the war to the enemy works:
Post 911 studies of al Qaeda and the way they operate indicate that luck (among the terrorists) and mistakes (by anti-terrorism organizations) were mainly responsible for the success of the September 11, 2001 attacks, and earlier ones as well. Al Qaeda operatives, although they have some training in secret operations and sabotage, were basically amateurs, and made many mistakes. Too many of these errors were not detected by police and counter-terrorism experts. Since 911, al Qaeda has lost many of its most experienced people to death or capture. Most al Qaeda training camps were shut down, choking off the supply of new operatives. However, killing three thousand Americans in 2001 inspired thousands of young Moslems to try and do the same and, well, it’s unclear exactly how all this arbitrary murder will improve anything. That, however, is a positive thing for counter-terrorism forces. As long as the terrorists are ignorant and obsessed, they have to depend more on chance than deliberate action, to carry out successful attacks.
Read the rest here.
UPDATE: Did someone say “quagmire?” Here’s what you won’t read in the New York Times:
Iraqis, aware that they are more likely, than American soldiers, to be victims of these attacks, are providing more information on where the al Qaeda members are hiding out. Most of the al Qaeda in Iraq are foreigners, and easy for Iraqis to detect. As a result of this, many of the al Qaeda men have moved back to Fallujah, which has become a terrorist sanctuary. The interim government is trying to convince the tribal and religious leaders of Fallujah to back a military operation in the city to clear out the various al Qaeda, criminal and Baath Party gangs. But the gangs of Fallujah are quick to threaten any local leader that shows signs of supporting the government. While the Fallujah leadership is intimidated, many residents of Fallujah are not, and are providing information to the coalition, which has led to attacks, with smart bombs or coalition and Iraqi troops, on buildings used by al Qaeda, or other gangs, as headquarters.