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> Who is it that “We Are Fighting Them There”?, Who do the Generals think were fighting?
post Apr 21 2006, 04:42 AM
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Century Mark

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Here are some quotes from the Commanders and Generals regarding who and what the Insurgency is:

Q: General, Martha Raddatz from ABC News. If I could follow up on Jim's question. You said it's something you always have to be aware of. What kind of evidence are you seeing that this is happening? Is it getting worse, the Iraqi /Iraqi violence against one another? What do you do that? The assassinations there, are they getting worse? And also, if you wouldn't mind talking about foreign fighters, what you're seeing. Is that declining? Who they are?

Odierno: Yeah, a couple things. First, I think, again, it's not getting worse. But again, I think it's sometimes it's almost posturing because they see where Iraq is heading. So we are seeing a bit of Sunni-on-Shi'a violence. We are seeing a bit of Turkish- Kurdish discussions now, which is good -- not violence. We are also, I believe, in a phase now where the foreign fighters are trying to become organized within Iraq. So it's important that we conduct interdiction operations in order to keep that from happening.

I believe the insurgency has not maintained itself as long as they wished. And I'm not quite sure the foreign fighter-al Qaeda links that are, I believe, trying to get in the country have properly organized themselves yet. But I believe they are going to try to organize and they will try to recruit probably what's left of the former regime elements to join together. But I've not seen that as of yet. But I believe that's a potential threat in the future.

Q: You believe al Qaeda foreign fighters are trying to organize outside and get in? You have evidence of that?

Odierno: I think we have some reports that they are trying to infiltrate into Iraq and organize themselves in order to conduct operations against coalition forces. We have no specific evidence yet. We have not had any specific contact in my area of operation with al Qaeda. But we do believe that they are trying to organize and then try to conduct attacks. Our job is to try to, again, interdict that and I think we've been fairly successful so far. But we have to work that very hard. And we are looking for that very carefully every day.

Q: Lee Keath from the Associated Press. The list that the military put out last week of the suspected members of the cells, with the rewards for the members of the insurgency cells – that seems to be mostly old Saddam or former Saddam figures, Saddam regime figures. Are there any suspected Zarqawi associates on that list or foreign fighters in general?

And do you have a sense of -- just as a second part, do you have a sense of who Zarqawi's associates are?

Kimmitt: Well, if you take a look at the third tier of the people that we have on that list, the 50,000 group, there are some that we suspect of having foreign affiliation and internal affiliation as well, people that we suspect of carrying on operations.

With regards to Zarqawi and his associates, we said very many times that we believe that Zarqawi has come to this country and that not only does he have a group of associates around him, but he also is reaching out to other disenfranchised organizations, extremist organizations, terrorist organizations. We don't believe that he came into this country with a huge infrastructure, but is trying to develop that infrastructure here.

Q Jen Aybran from Reuters. Can you talk a bit about the foreign insurgents in Baghdad? What sense do you get? Is there an increase? And also, is there much cooperation between former regime elements and foreign?

GEN. DEMPSEY: I can talk definitively about the presence as we know it. And as far as their cooperation, I'll tell you that's the number-one question on my intelligence requirements list. The question I ask my intelligence officer every morning is what evidence, if any, exists that the former regime is cooperating with or has even potentially ceded the lead to foreign influences. I don't know the answer to that.

But I'll tell you what we have seen. Until three days ago, we had captured a total of 19 foreigners in the city of Baghdad, out of several thousand individuals that we captured. So it -- I would not have characterized that particular number as a significant part of the fight. We very clearly still are fighting, as the principal enemy, the former regime and its structures.

Now I just mentioned in the last 72 hours we've picked up three foreigners. And then you add that to the earlier question about the particular nature of the VBIED at the front gate here and the attack up in Erbil, and I think it causes us to try figure out exactly what is occurring here. I don't know the answer to that yet. I'll just tell you that I am alert to that. And we have -- as we build this indigenous Iraqi security network, that is a question we hope they will help us answer as well.

. . . While the resistance continues, Abizaid said he thinks there are fewer than 1,000 foreign fighters in Iraq, adding that the primary problem in Iraq is former regime elements fighting against the government. He said those elements are trying everything in their power to upend the election process. . .

The U.S. generals running the war in Iraq presented a new assessment of the military situation in public comments and sworn testimony this week: The 149,000 U.S. troops currently in Iraq are increasingly part of the problem.

During a trip to Washington, the generals said the presence of U.S. forces was fueling the insurgency, fostering an undesirable dependency on American troops among the nascent Iraqi armed forces and energizing terrorists across the Middle East. . .

. . . Major General Joseph Taluto said he could understand why some ordinary people would take up arms against the US military because "they're offended by our presence".

In an interview with Gulf News, he said: "If a good, honest person feels having all these Humvees driving on the road, having us moving people out of the way, having us patrol the streets, having car bombs going off, you can understand how they could [want to fight us]." . . .

. . . While the resistance continues, Abizaid said he thinks there are fewer than 1,000 foreign fighters in Iraq, adding that the primary problem in Iraq is former regime elements fighting against the government. He said those elements are trying everything in their power to upend the election process. . .

. . . GEN. RODRIGUEZ: Okay. I'll give you a yardstick to measure there. Since about November '04, we have had a total of 90 foreign fighters detained. In addition to that number, the majority of the suicide vehicle bombs and the suicide bombers -- we believe there are strong indications that the majority of them are foreign fighters. So looking at that number, we have a little over 150 foreign fighters since November that we have seen in Multinational Forces Northwest. . .

. . . GEN. VINES: Good question, Bret. Good to talk to you.

There are four broad groups, I think, within this insurgency, and the insurgency, quite honestly, is quite narrow. The level of support for violence is pretty narrow. The jihadists or the Zarqawi elements -- sometimes referred to the al Qaeda and associated movements here in country – that number is not very large, but it is very violent. It has access to some technical capability, and it uses foreign fighters, historically, primarily to murder other Iraqis. It brings in foreigners, and they kill themselves and others, sometimes in vehicles, sometimes with -- they'll put a vest on and detonate it among a group. And it's -- so foreigners that are brought in typically do things that Iraqis won't do to each other. That's the history of them. . .

. . . "In fact, in Iraq, less coalition at this point in time, is better. Less is better because it doesn't feed the notion of occupation, it doesn't work the culture of dependency, it doesn't lengthen the time for Iraqi forces to be self-reliant, and it doesn't expose coalition forces to risk" . . .

So who is this “We Are Fighting Them There, So We Don’t Have To Fight Them Here” comprised of?

And if we leave will they bother to take time off from dancing in the streets to follow us back here?

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post Apr 21 2006, 11:41 AM
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This post has been edited by Jaime: Apr 21 2006, 11:41 AM
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