Gen Petraeus warns that there will be a Mini-Tet this summer. Al-Qaeda and other factions will wage a superficial military campaign. Their intent is not to make any political or military gains – they’ve been defeated in that respect. They intend to win the Information War with a campaign targetting the American People and Iraqi Government, to push the Americans into withdrawing. Get ready to resist psyops manipulation.
AQI is not the biggest threat anymore. Due to weak signals from Congress, Syria and Iran are becoming more militarily aggressive and are emboldened by the lack of resistance by Congress. The Syrian-Iranian alliance is building up to attack Israel, Lebanon and possibly Iraq this summer. This will not be a “mini” at all.
The Tet Offensive was a decisive defeat for the VietCong. It led to the destruction of the VC and the end of the guerilla war in South Vietnam. Afterwards, the North Vietnamese invaded with a conventional force and won almost a decade later through armored tanks and mig fighter jets.
The Mythology of Tet created a false narrative that the guerillas were unbeatable – despite being annihilated in reality. Tet became the model of using Information Warfare to achieve victories in the absence of military victory.
Petraeus correctly fears another Tet. The Al-Qaeda version of “Tet” will be shallow and superficial and they will lose. But can the US military contain the damage a false narrative will do in the Information War? With the rhetoric in the United States increasingly disconnected from any reality in Iraq, I doubt it.
This is what the “mini-Tet” by AQI will look like. AQI attacked and killed 150 with a car bomb in a small hamlet that had no strategic or military value. The result? It only hardens Iraqis against AQI. It did not lead to any AQI gains in territory or bring down the Iraqi government. It was an information warfare attack. This type of attack gives an impression of failure through symbolic acts of violence that are not indicative of anything important. It is an illogical message. Car bombs do not indicate a military or political defeat in Iraq. Sadly, some will believe that a car bomb indicates al-Qaeda victory anyway.
My worry is not Al-Qaeda. They are being rapidly defeated in Anbar and Diyala, so that they will not be able to mount a serious counterattack as an insurgent force. Al-Qaeda in Iraq may be weakening and turning into a terrorist organization – as is happening to the Taliban in Afghanistan. This would be welcome news.
I am more worried about Iran and Syria.
The Syrian Military is at its highest state of mobilization since 1973. It recently ordered Syrian citizens to leave Lebanon by July 15, 2007. Today, Syria invaded Lebanon. The Syrians are fortifying positions near the Bekaa Valley. This area is an Hezbollah stronghold and is a major supply route from Syria to southern Lebanon.
Hezbollah continues to stockpile rockets for another bombardment attack on Israel. They are also fortifying their positions and possibly preparing for another war.
Iran has increased funding and control over HAMAS – the Muslim Brotherhood branch in Palestine. Hamas is acting according to Iranian interests at the moment. Perhaps Iran is setting up a situation where two non-state militant organizations – Hezbollah and Hamas, can start a two-front war against Israel. Israel will be hard-pressed if it has to fight in Gaza, Lebanon and the Golan Heights at once.
There is growing intel and widespread rumors that Iran-Syria may be going to war against Israel this summer.
Well-informed sources in Washington fear a confrontation between Syria and Israel may happen this summer. The sources say that Syrian intelligence is abuzz with activity reports of an imminent Israeli attack across the Golan Heights, while others believe it is Syria that is gearing up for war.
According to the former U.S. State Department official, “Syria has rearmed Hezbollah to the teeth — there should be a price to pay for that.”…
“If Israel doesn’t vacate the strategic Golan Heights before September, Syrian guerillas will immediately launch ‘resistance operations’ against the Golan’s Jewish communities.” The official said “Damascus is preparing for Israeli retaliation following Syrian guerilla attacks and for a larger war with the Jewish state in August or September.”
The official warns that “Syria has the capability to fire ‘hundreds’ of missiles at Tel Aviv in the opening salvo of any conflict.” The official told the New York paper that Damascus has made numerous requests to Washington for the return of the Golan “either through negotiations or through war.”
The Israelis are touch and go here. They preempted an expected attack last year by invading Lebanon. They may do so again this summer.
Signs of appeasement by the US Congress have given mixed signals. Following Madame Pelosi’s unofficial visit to Syria, she announced that the road to peace led to Damascus. Afterwards, the Syrians rounded up and imprisoned critics of their regime and stepped up military preparations.
Syria assassinated another Lebanese politician, Walid Eido, last month. There are rumors that the Syrians plan a coup to oust the short-lived Anti-Syrian Lebanese government.
One of the effects of the Iraq war was the forced withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon. The Lebanese Cedar Revolution in 2005 ended decades of Syrian imperial control over their country. Now that the US is wavering, the Syrians are moving to invade and reconquer Lebanon.
Any offensives against Israel and Lebanon may be coordinated with Iraq, if the Iranians are smart. The US has captured hundreds of Iranian intelligence agents and Quds Force operatives in Iraq. Since they are state militants, the US is allowing Iranian diplomats to meet some and review POW conditions. That’s basically an open acknowledgement of ongoing hostilities.
I would like to think they are overplaying their hand. The alliance of Iran and Syria sense weakness in the American political debates, so they will try to capture as much as they can through force and expect nothing but appeasement in response. One would hope that Congress and Israel will recognize this threat for what it is.
This depends on a number of factors. Israeli and Lebanese responses may deter an aggressive Syria and Hezbollah from taking action. The Fatah-Hamas Civil War can stop Hamas from directing its efforts against Israel. Iraq, if all goes well, may not be a major front for Iran.