An Example of Real Strategy in Iraq

While the press concentrates on manufacturing bad news, they fail to report true strategic victories. Fortunately, the Internet gives us the ability to get the real story. For a great story on the use of strategy in working against al Sadr, read here a letter from a soldier in Iraq to Amy Ridenour's blog. There are a number of great strategic lessons in this letter. Notice how American actions follow exactly Sun Tzu's advice on the best forms of attacks.
First, the best strategy is to attack while your opponent is laying plans. Sun Tzu's strategy is a long-term view toward accomplishing the goal of preempting your opponent. Military leaders in Iraq have been working against al Sadr for over a year, undermining his efforts all along.

Next, the second best attack is breaking up alliances. Notice how the military broke al Sadr off from other Shiite leaders, from his Iranian supporters from outside Iraq, and most recently, from his less dedicated supporters inside the country.

Third, we attack the army directly. As Sun Tzu says, our opponent gives us the opening to do this, and Al Sadr created that opportunity by taking up arms when he though we were distracted by the problems in Falluja. (Al Sadr shouldn't believe everything he sees in the news.) We attacked his army only accomplishing undermining his plans and isolating him, literally forcing him into a corner.

Finally, we avoid attacking his city stronghold. American's first moved al Sadr out of Sadr city before attacking him. Sadr was the historical source of his families support. People in Karbala and Najaf were actually protesting his presence before we began moving against him.

Great strategy and one that will lead to certain victory. This shows why I am so much more optimistic about U.S. success in Iraq than what we get from the news.

If we could only do as well working against the plans of the anti-American press, cutting off their support and forcing them into a losing battle.