June 16, 2006

Al-Qa'idah in Mesopotamia Document

A document (read the text) found in the house in which Al-Qa'idah in Mesopotamia leader Abu Mus'ab Az-Zarqawi was killed reveals the status of the organization and proposals to counter recent reverses.

My review of the document leads me to the conclusion that this is an analysis prepared by some in the
Az-Zarqawi organization, more likely for Az-Zarqawi rather than by Az-Zarqawi. According to the document, the Iraqis and coalition forces have succeeded in damaging the organization. Notably, the author cites the establishment of Iraqi security forces as limiting the amount of casualties that the group has been able to inflict on American forces. Because the group cannot inflict an increasing number of casualties on the Americans, time is no longer on the side of the insurgency.

Previously, Az-Zarqawi was of the opinion that if he continued to cause American casualties, adverse public opinion in the United States would lead to demands for the troops to be withdrawn. The author believes this is no longer the case. The advantage of time has shifted to the coalition and Iraqi government. The author provides several reasons for this conclusion. Of significance are the increased operations by Iraqi security forces and effective coalition operations in "resistance areas." I think this refers to the series of American-led operations over the last six months in the Euphrates River valley aimed at destroying the supply line between Baghdad and the Syrian border, as well as increased troop presence in the volatile cities of the Sunni triangle - Ar-Ramadi, Ba'qubah, Fallujah, etc.

The author goes on to list a few things that should be done. Of interest, he cites "mistakes that blemish the image of the resistance." I take this to mean the videotaped beheadings and the continued attacks on Shi'a shrines. These activities are in direct contravention of the instructions sent in a letter from Al-Qa'idah's number two leader Ayman Az-Zawahri to Az-Zarqawi in July 2005.

The author's solution to the "current bleak situation" is to foment a conflict between the United States and either the Iran or the Shi'a Muslims in general, citing the positive impact on the Az-Zarqawi group that resulted from the battle between the Al-Mahdi Army of Shi'a leader Muqtada As-Sadr and American forces. The author lists a series of options to cause this type of conflict, including battles between the various Shi'a factions, the Shi'a and the Kurds, the Shi'a and the Americans, etc.

In the end, the author comes to the conclusion that the best course of action, the one that will help the insurgency the most, is to foment a war between Iran and the United States. The author believes this will be difficult, assessing that Iran is actively assisting the United States in both Afghanistan and Iraq. The key, according to the paper, is to play up the danger to America and the west from Iran.

The paper presents an interesting look at the insurgency and its analysis of the situation in Iraq.