In the United States, a good measure of a person's political sentiment is to ask them when or if the US-Iraqi War ended? Some people say it ended last year in April or May; others say that the war is ongoing.
According to a story from 2004 June 25 in Asia Times Online, several of Saddam Hussein's generals say the war is continuing, except that they speak of the current period as the post-war;
My sense is that these generals who claim to be attacking the United States somehow have failed to merge their practice of `assymetrical warfare' with a language appropriate to it. In effect, they are supporting the Bush Administration's argument that the war ended by 30 May 2003, and that the fighting afterwards was not planned by anyone ahead of time.
While I do not know whether the story about the generals is true or disinformation, it is clearly the case that some people in Iraq are fighting the US and the US-sponsored government. But they are not doing it the traditional manner of proper 18th century European forces. They are engaging in `assymetrical warfare'.
One part of the strategy is to show enough Iraqis that the US is unable to maintain order, the very minimum for a government. Many say that the disorder occurs almost entirely in the capital and Sunni triangle, and that most of the country is safe. I do not know to what extent this claim is true. Certainly, the assassinations in Bagdad prove that the capital is dangerous and the capital is a major source of opinion.
A second part of the strategy is to persuade enough Americans to motivate their government to pull out of Iraq: either to persuade the Bush Administration that it stands a better chance if Iraq is no longer a key issue, or to persuade a possible Kerry Administration to blame its predecessor.
There is more to the actions of the enemies of the United States; but my main point here is to call for more discussion in the US of assymetical warfare. As I said earlier, I cannot imagine that any non-American general staff thinks it can win a conventional war with the US. Hence, it must plan on fighting an `assymetrical war'. Nothing else makes military sense.
It is the duty of the leaders the United States, particularly the President, to explain this change.
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