Sunday, October 28, 2007

U.S. Success Against al Qaeda in Iraq

According to General David Petraeus the surge is working in Baghdad. The top U.S. commander said the threat from al-Qaeda in several former strongholds in Baghdad has been significantly reduced, but criminals who have established "almost mafia-like presence" in some areas pose a new threat.

Yes, that would be the same mafia that recently said it considered taking out Rudy Giuliani while a hard charging prosecutor for New York City. And Rudy happens to have the mantle for the Republican Presidential nomination. Conservative Texas Governor Rick Perry announced his strong support for the ex-New York Mayor, likely in return for the V.P. nod. Rudy'll need a strong Southern Governor with worldwide business connections to make up for his distinctly New England roots. But, enough of the random walk of prognostication and back to the issue of al Qaeda in Iraq.

The surge happened to stop the terror group over there, so they won't attack Americans here at home. Al Qaeda in Iraq was estimated by the Pentagon to be responsible for 15% of the insurgent attacks. Other experts pegged the group at 2 to 5% of the insurgency. That means the U.S. did the opposite of the 80/20 rule where leaders are encouraged to address the few major causes contributing to the problems an organization faces.

The good news is General Petraeus said we knocked down al Qaeda in Iraq in the Baghdad area. Unfortunately, that means most of the problems caused by other insurgent groups remain. Sunni vs. Sunni, Shia vs. Shia, and Shia vs. Sunni attacks are still occurring. While the Kurdish region may have relative peace from within, an angry Turkey is itching to pull an Israel and invade its democratic neighbor to root out Kurdish terrorists.

Now that David has minimized 2 to 5% of the problem, 95 to 97% remains. President Bush likes to call that major progress. What would Rudy Giuliani or Rick Perry call it?