Al-Sabah had a story yesterday about a 1st time meeting between the officials in the new Iraqi ministries of interior and defense and the commanders of the multinational forces to put a new strategy for a higher level of coordination in the way the above institutes function.
What's new here is that all future operations will be planned for and monitored from a joined control room. The outlines of this plan were also mentioned by the spokesman of the government Dr. Laith Kubba.
Anyway, this may not seem that significant or really new but what caught my attention was a statement by the commander of the American troops in Rasafa (the eastern half of Baghdad) the officer said "by the end of this summer, the terrorists will be either killed, held in custody or at least rendered unable to function".
I though for a while and my 1st impression was that such a statement is way too ambitious considering the latest escalation in terror attacks on American troops, Iraqi troops and Iraqi civilians.
But this morning I read in the news about a new large operation in Haditha west of Ramadi, then I reviewed the sequence of events in the last few weeks; 1st there was operation "Matador", then was a turning point at the quality operation in Abu Ghraib area where for the 1st time, a division-size Iraqi force launched an assault on terrorists hides; such a huge operation was impossible to do a year ago.
The operations in Al-Qaim and Abu Ghraib inflicted heavy losses on the terrorists and now we have another major operation underway in Haditha that is expected to bring good results too and in between these major operations numerous snake-heads were captured, eliminated or are surrendering every other day with news talking about Zarqawi being fatally injured.
Here I began to think that my 1st impression was kind of rushed and unfair.
What I see happening now is a big change in the strategy of fighting terrorism in Iraq; instead of waiting for the terrorists to build strongholds and then respond to their attacks (like the way Fallujah, Sadr city and Najaf were dealt with) now terrorists are being chased in almost simultaneous operations nationwide and this will make it much harder for the terrorists to reorganize their lines and regroup in new bases.
It is quite true that Iraqi civilians, police and army have received very high casualties in the last month but looking at the other side; we'll find that terrorists have received heavier blows in this very month than anytime earlier this year.
We have said earlier that the winner in this war is the camp that has more resources and determination and so there's no doubt who's going to win at the end but the new thing is that at these rates of losses for the terrorists and if Iraqi and multinational troops keep the same current pressure on, then I guess what that officer said could be quiet close to the truth.