Analysts Urge U.S. Forces to Attack Invaders at Border

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), July 13, 2005 | Go to article overview
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Analysts Urge U.S. Forces to Attack Invaders at Border


Byline: Rowan Scarborough, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Some government analysts have concluded that U.S. forces in Iraq will never defeat the ubiquitous improvised explosive devices (IEDs) with new technologies and should augment the fight with a full-fledged border war to stop bombers at the source.

The opinions of government officials in interviews with The Washington Times do not necessarily mean there will be a change in war-fighting strategy. Commanders continue to try to defeat IEDs, which are the No. 1 killer of coalition troops and civilians in Iraq, by attacking insurgent havens and bomb-making factories throughout the country.

But the analysts said midlevel personnel increasingly think that the IED threat will never be defeated unless the flow of foreign suicide bombers, primarily via Syria, is stopped.

The analysts also believe the U.S. must start identifying the foreign fighters as invaders, which would better justify the redeployment of American and Iraqi forces along the border with Syria, aided by more use of spy drones and satellites to watch for incursions 24 hours a day.

"Until the invaders are stopped or the traffic reduced, there will always be violent people willing to sacrifice themselves to advance the schemes of others," said a defense official who has brainstormed the problem with analysts in the U.S. intelligence community. "I think the trick is to dry up the source of those willing to commit acts of unspeakable violence."

The idea would not be to "seal" the Syrian border, a mission that would be practically impossible. The goal would be to set up forces and spy sensors to such a degree that most crossings could be spotted and attacked.

The military had some success this week, with the top U.S. general saying last night that American forces had captured the top aide to Abu Musab Zarqawi, who heads al Qaeda in Iraq.

"Just yesterday on the battlefield, we picked up Zarqawi's main leader in Baghdad, they call him the Emir of Baghdad, Abu Abdal Aziz, and that's going to hurt that operation of Zarqawi's pretty significantly," Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on PBS' "NewsHour.

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Analysts Urge U.S. Forces to Attack Invaders at Border
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