Al Queda in Iraq...surprisingly sophisticated

I guess this would fall under the heading of witnessing more than debate as the only real debate I have is ‘thoughts’. I was reading this article on CNN and thought I’d share it with 'dopers to see what folks think about it:

It is interesting that they called their efforts ‘Operation Desert Shield’.

I thought this next part was very interesting as it shows the reasons why the US is doing (a bit) better in Iraq…and why AQ sort of stepped on their own dick really hard with golf shoes.

From this article at least it seems that AQ in Iraq was MUCH more sophisticated than was previously believed. This is definitely not the run of the mill terrorist organization…not with a command and bureaucratic structure like this. It’s also interesting that despite all of those advantages that THEY also miscalculated and fucked up in Iraq and are definitely paying the price for it now as a large percentage of their former allies have turned against them.

I have no idea what, if anything, this will mean for the US in Iraq…but it looks rather grim for AQ there, at least from what I’m reading here. I can’t say that the prospect of AQ on the run and being hunted down in Iraq exactly leaves me teary eyed or heart broken.



  • yawn * They would never have been there in any numbers save for us, and have never been that important or numerous. Even if all the Al Qaeda in Iraq die, that just means we’ve killed tens of thousands and spent billions to end up where we started in regards to them. And, regardless of what happens, we’ve already inflicted more damage on ourselves than they ever could have.

Um…you didn’t actually read the article did you? Is that just a standard strawman that you reel off whenever you see Iraq? Because, you know, I actually wasn’t talking about any of that.


What’s the debate? I don’t see any “thoughts” other than the usual “Rah rah, USA” and “we did the right thing.”

PS-Just in case you weren’t aware, AQ’s presence in Iraq was not just insignificant but counter to Saddam’s Bath Party ideology.

IOW, they were enemies.

xtisme According to John Robb in the book “Brave New War”, Saddam Hussein’s lesson learned from Desert storm was that there was no way to compete with the US conventionally, so he planned for an insurgency in the aftermath that would harry the occupational forces until he could be returned to powers. As such they left weapons caches all over Iraq, and organized the Republican guard to fight an assymetric battle.

The book is quite interesting. Robb is a former Marine who worked anti-terrorism, and then moved to the private sector and built some software startups. His theory in “Brave New War”, is to compare terrorist organizations to open-source software movements. His prescription is to change the way we use data analysis to combat the threat. If you’re really interested in this sort of stuff, that book is a must read.

Al Qaeda is without a different breed from other terrorist organizations. The two cutting edge implementations are Al Qaeda and Hezbollah, at least in the Arab world. Narco-Terrorists in South America are also a highly bureaucratic and organized breed. Though, I think that this kind of bureaucratic implementation is probably more common amongst the world class terrorist organizations than maybe you previously gave credit for. When I found out the Colombians were using a super-computer to analyze phone records in order to catch snitches, I realized that this sort of shit was at a much higher level than I ever would have expected. I read about that probably in 2000.

xtisme Do everyone a favor and ignore the peanut gallery. Some of us are interested in this topic.

As it stated in the article.

Yeah. So? Point being they never had a foothold until you just had to meddle-in.

The rest is apologists BS.

Pay me no mind. I’d appreciate it.

Actually this is a thread about organization. Not about apologism. There is no moral component to the OP, just an article about how Al Qaeda operates as an entity.

‘Rah rah, USA’?? The article is talking about a new depth of sophistication for AQ…it’s only tangentially about the USA. Seriously…did you READ the article or is this just a knee jerk post?

Um…had you read the article you would have seen that they are talking about events that happened long AFTER Saddam and the Baath party were out of business. And you would have seen that there were several factions that WERE supporting AQ wholeheartedly (and who were even filling the upper ranks of AQ in Iraq) but were turned against them due to some of their more distasteful practices.

Well, you WOULD have seen these things if you had actually bothered to read the article.

No shit? That’s probably why AQ wasn’t IN Iraq in significant numbers while Saddam and the Baath party were in charge, ehe? 'Doyathink?

I figure this probably formed the core of the hardware that the insurgency used initially (hell, probably even today). What was interesting to me was how sophisticated AQ was (and is)…I don’t think anyone expected that level of C&C from such an organization. Oh, the ruthlessness, to be sure…but they were VERY sophisticated and I think this explains how the insurgency in 2005 and 2006 was so very vicious…and why even today they are still effective.

I will definitely check it out when I get back from my current trip abroad. I am definitely interested in this stuff as it’s rather important these days. I appreciate the recommendation.


At this point, I have some doubt as to whether Al Queda exists as an entity rather than a brand name with no defined leadership. Fact is, we pretty much only know what we are told, and pretty much everybody who tells us doesn’t know either or is lying in support of an agenda.

That’s a fairly dogmatic assumption. At a certain point there has to be some degree of truth or people cannot operate and do their jobs. That’s what we call, “corruption”, total corruption makes it difficult to accomplish anything.

AQI is a negligable presense in Iraq. They’re less than 2% of the insurgency, so who gives a shit? AQI is not really al Quaeda proper, so I don’t see what the debate is. They wouldn’t be there if the US wasn’t there, and they won’t be there when we leave. The alleged “sophistication” of a trivial guerilla group in Iraq is no reason to stay there, no reason for concern and certainly no justification for having invaded in this first place.

Where do you get the 2% figure? The article is specifically about their level of organization before their demise.

I don’t know why the obligatory US bashing which is OT is coming in.

The State Department

Here’s a good article from Washington Monthly. The Myth of AQI:

AQI is nothing, but even if it was anythging to worry about, that’s easily solved by leaving Iraq.

double post

Mix of old news, lies and plain bullshit:

McCain/Lieberman dissemble on AQ in Iraq

Plenty of links and cites debunking this “news” article by the ever-impartial OP.

Much more where that came from:

The Myth of AQI

Bush’s misleading Al Qaeda/Iraq rhetoric

AQ in Iraq becoming irrelevant
More disassembling from the infamous duo:

Listening to Petraeus The president had the courage to change course on Iraq. Does Congress?


“Victory” Over Al-Qaeda in Iraq?

So, once again, again, what’s the “debate”? A bunch of lies we all already know?

Please. This ignorance is coming-up up on a decade…if you haven’t figured it out by now.


It appears to me that this is what made them surprisingly sophisticated: that they absorbed professional military officers. I’ll note, as well, that the article makes it clear that these military officers saw that the fundamental religious elements and influences were costing them support, and did something about it.

So if the religious elements and influences no longer have power, do you still have Al Qaeda? Or do you have a brilliantly co-opted ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ type of resistance?

My impression of Al Qaeda was always that loose affiliation in the name of the cause was worth it. Anything to promote the brand. The name after all means, “The Base”, which is a delightfully generic term. As though they are the foundation for a broader mass movement.

Perhaps the best and most comprehensive link – for those that have given up on the Chinese flag-lapel faux nationalism:

Perpetuating the al-Qaeda-Iraq Myth

Rah rah, USA, #1!

I know, I know, all those damn Ayrab terrarist’ takin’ over The Good Ol’ US of A.