Important news about the Basra fighting

After the Iraqi Offensive“, An address by Colonel H. R. McMaster (US Army), sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute (13 May 2008).  Reported in the Army Times:  “O-6: No question about Iran role in violence” (14 May 2008) – Excerpt:

McMaster also said that the Iraqi thwarting of the recent uprising in Basra, which officials have said involved significant Iranian backing, may have spoiled a larger regional destabilization effort.

It is possible, McMaster said, “that this bold, very quick action by the prime minister in Basra foiled what was to be, perhaps, a much larger and coordinated effort – maybe even coordinated with efforts in other places in the region, like what’s been happening right now in Lebanon.”

The Iraqi military response to the March militia uprising in Basra, ordered by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, was initially described as an ineffective failure.  But his firing of ineffectual commanders was followed by tactical success and a ceasefire, and is said to have enhanced his status.

Has anyone seen reporting about this March militia uprising in Basra?  If so, please share your information with us by posting a comment. 

The sources I have seen said that Prime Minister Maliki decided to send government forces into Basra, spent several months in preparation (about which there were several news reports), then executed the operation.

Two narratives, one Iraq. Which is correct?

A second question

Will we now see reports from neocons and war bloggers about the March uprising?  If so, that would suggest that this new narrative is another info ops by the US military.

Update:  McMaster promoted

“An Army board headed by Gen. David H. Petraeus has selected several combat-tested counterinsurgency experts for promotion to the rank of brigadier general … They include Col. H.R. McMaster, a senior Petraeus adviser known for leading a successful counterinsurgency effort in the Iraqi city of Tall Afar…”  From “Army’s Next Crop of Generals Forged in Counterinsurgency“, Washington Post (15 May 2008).

Please share your comments by posting below (brief and relevant, please), or email me at fabmaximus at hotmail dot com (note the spam-protected spelling). 

For more information about the different reports we see about the Iraq War

  1. Three blind men examine the Iraq Elephant (6 February 2008)
  2. The oddity of reports about the Iraq War (13 March 2008) — Some theories why after 5 years we still debate basic things about the Iraq War.
  3. War porn (25 March 2008) – Discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the war-bloggers’ reporting in Iraq.
  4. More views of the events at Basra (2) — bloggers and war-bloggers (28 March 2008) – Contrast the war bloggers’ reports with those of some experts.
  5. A rebuttal to “War Porn” (it takes 2 sides to have a discussion)(29 March 2008) — Someone writes a defense of the war bloggers, and my reply.
  6. A look at the writings of “war blogger” Michael J. Totten (31 March 2008) – extracts of his posts from 2003 – 2005.
  7. An email discussion with Michael Totten (31 March 2008)
  8. Evidence of the war bloggers’ growing influence (2 April 2008)
  9. Basra, a test case: war blogger’s vs. experts (2 April 2008)
  10. Experts’ views about the recent fighting in Basra (2 April 2008)
  11. Sources of the Instapundit’s knowledge — analysis or cartoons? (3 April 2008)
  12. Some comments by Bill Roggio, Editor of the Long War Journal (3 April 2008)
  13. Two views of Fallujah – which tells us more about the future?  (23 April 2008)
  14. Who was right about Basra — experts or war bloggers?   (25 April 2008)
  15. Scoring Basra: War bloggers 2, area experts 1  (14 May 2008)
  16. Archive of links to articles about the Iraq War
  17. Our Goals and Benchmarks for the Expedition to Iraq  

4 thoughts on “Important news about the Basra fighting

  1. I havent seen later reporting that would back up McMaster’s comments. Since the Basra engagement was apparently a fiasco for al Maliki, this bit of pro-government counter propaganda should be expected.

    Follow-up comment: Sorry! My computer froze up momentarily and I hadnt seen the last part of your comments when I wrote mine — which really just restates yours.

  2. Another update: “Iraqi forces to infiltrate al-Mahdi Army stronghold“, The Times (14 May 2008) — Excerpt:

    Iraqi soldiers and police are preparing to push deeper into Sadr City in an ambitious move that could either bring order to the notorious Baghdad Shia slum or create an even deadlier battlefield.

    … Under the ceasefire deal, Iraqi forces will be allowed for the first time to fan out across all of Sadr City, al-Mahdi Army’s Baghdad stronghold, to impose the law and ensure that militiamen have surrendered medium and heavy weapons. It is unclear when this push past the southern sector, which US and Iraqi forces already control, will happen but it could come as early as tomorrow.

    Al-Mahdi Army commanders indicated that Iraqi soldiers will encounter no resistance provided that they are not accompanied by US troops.

  3. What a load of spin. Iran is fully vested in the ‘government’ of Iraq via the Badr corps and whatever SCIRI calling themselves now. Perhaps the reference to Iranian backing refers to saving the Iraqi army and police from obliteration at the hands of the Mahdi army?

    The relentless attribution of foreign direction to nationalist movements by the US government has not changed since the 60’s. It’s a classic case of projecting what the US is doing on to everyone else. I’m convinced that this particular operation was not just authorized, but directed by the administration. Was it not the veep who visited just prior to the commencement of festivities??

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