May 10, 2004

Just getting on with it, with no fanfare...

We had some idea of this, but it's nice to see it expressed clearly, by HD Miller, at Travelling Shoes:

...Something that seems to have slipped by Reuters, AP, et al. these past few weeks is that the U.S. Army has been steadily whittling away at Sadr's troops, to the point that today, an American military spokesman is estimating that Sadr is down below a thousand hard-core supporters in his home town...

...Hey, didn't the Mahdi Army have over 5,000 members just a month ago?

There is no real reason to go headlong, hell-for-leather into Najaf, not when Army snipers, tanks, and helicopters are on the edge of town (and in Baghdad) picking off 30 or 40 Sadr supporters a day, every day. (And given the level of marksmenship and military acumen of the Mahdi Army, it's not a surprise this is happening.)

The Americans are winning without forcing the giant conflagration that almost everyone had predicted.

This same dynamic also explains why a Marine patrol was able to wander through the streets of Fallujah relatively unmolested today...

Posted by John Weidner at May 10, 2004 9:40 PM
Weblog by John Weidner