By Colonel (Retired) Wesley Martin ?
During my tenure as the senior Antiterrorism/Force Protection Officer for all Coalition Forces in ?Iraq, I had identified six basic threat groups against us: national terrorists, international terrorists ??(Al Qaeda and others), former regime elements (Saddamists), religious extremists, criminals, and ?tribes. It was recognized that some individuals and organizations would fall under more than one ?threat group. How each was operating determined its threat group classification. The tactics ?and objectives of each group differ from varying degrees. Even within the groups, differences ?were identified. Sunni and Shia national terrorist courses of action differ. As a result of these ?understandings, threat expectations for current and upcoming coalition missions could be ?developed. In turn, defensive measures could be constructed. There was one additional ?caveat. During Operations Iraqi Freedom 1 and 2, any defensive measure taken was allowed to ?remain in effect for only ninety days. A year later, that window had closed to fourteen ?days. During those periods, it was found that our adversaries had adapted with new ways to ?attack. We needed to continually identify and characterize evolving weaknesses and push ?effective defensive windows to increased periods of validity. ?
By the time General Petraeus wrapped up his mission in 2010, the impacts of all groups had been ?minimalized. This was not just because of the surge in forces and how General Petraeus used ?those forces, but equally important was his concurrent strategy of community and information ?engagement. In the north and west, his success with the Sunni tribes resulted in locals ridding ?themselves of terrorist elements.?
Unfortunately, the work of all coalition forces and dedicated Iraqis of all faiths has been ?undermined. The antics of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki have resulted in every one of those ?threat groups being reinvigorated. Of the six threat groups previously identified, al-Maliki has ?been the most aggressive and powerful operative in the criminal element. Little of the hundreds ?of billions of dollars pumped into Iraq by the United States had a positive impact on the Iraqi ?population. Not happy with his share of the skim, Nouri al-Maliki has established a criminal ?organization far more greedy, corrupt, and brutal than Al Capone could ever have hoped to ?achieve. For Capone, the “Saint Valentine’s Day” massacre was the show-piece of his ?brutality. For Nouri al-Maliki, mass murder, unjustified warrants and arrests, torture, and ?overcrowded, disease-ridden, prisons have become a routine attribute of his rule. ?
For years, al-Maliki has been conducting genocide on Sunni populations. Anyone opposing ?him is subject to being assassinated, being declared a terrorist, or wrongly accused of crimes and ?arrested. Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi is the most classic example. During my tour as Senior ?Operations Officer for Task Force 134 (Detention Operations) I …read more