April 01, 2008

Malcolm Nance on Basra

What is a day at Abu Muqawama without at least passing reference to the mess in Basra? Malcolm Nance provides today's analysis via the indispensable Small Wars Journal. Malcolm's analysis focuses more on the military realities on the ground:

No one doubts US Supremacy on the battlefield, but this is the Iraqi Army engaged now in Basrah and by all accounts performing poorly. Any attempt to extract them will be a victory for the JAM. On the other hand the JAM can easily make it clear that hardball is a two way game, as they have done in the past. They could suddenly disappear from the battlefield, secretly open up those hidden away crates of Iranian made EFP-IEDs and make Basrah a living hell for whoever comes in with armor. JAM’s “brave, but stupid” street tactics have a low survivability rate against US soldiers but they are more than a match for the Iraqi army and police of 2008. The Iraqi army of 2009 may be a different matter, but there is no doubt that the JAM may use on any more ceasefires to train their cadres so they can continue to fight the Iraqi and US army like Hezbollah fought Israel in Lebanon.