Latest troop killing in Iraq is 28% of the Virginia Tech massacre

News & Politics
From Larry Johnson's blog, No Quarter:

The United States military paid a heavy price yesterday in Iraq, a terrible harbinger of what our troops will face in the future.  Iraqi insurgents deftly exploited a major vulnerability of U.S. forces and in a single attack killed 9 U.S. soldiers.  That is almost one-third of the number killed last week at Virginia Tech by a crazed gunman.  This is the largest loss of life in a single ground attack since the war began.  According to the AP:

Nine U.S. soldiers were killed and 20 wounded Monday in a suicide car bombing against a patrol base northeast of the capital in Diyala province, a volatile area that has been the site of fierce fighting, the military said.
"The attack came on a day when insurgents struck across Iraq, carrying out seven other bombings that killed at least 48 people." name="context" />

Iraq, carrying out seven other bombings that killed at least 48 people. ...

It was the second bold attack against a U.S. base north of Baghdad in just over two months and was notable for its use of a suicide car bomber.
The various Iraqi insurgent groups will certainly count this as a major success and will try to replicate it in the coming days.  The current surge strategy makes this kind of incident more likely.  Why?

The surge strategy is predicated in large measure on the dispersal of U.S. troops to outposts known as "Joint Security Stations".  It gives your forces a chance to "get to know" the locals but it also makes them more vulnerable.  Pat Lang commented on this earlier this year:

That means that we will have numerous small garrisons placed alone in "Indian Country" in positions that will come to be well known to insurgent reconnaissance.  These garrisons will have to be supplied in spite of IEDs, anti-aircraft ambushes and sniping.  The widely dispersed garrisons will be co-located with Iraqi security forces. This is an inherent security problem.  Tactical reserve (QRF) forces will have to be large and highly mobile.

Smaller outposts situated in the middle of urban areas means U.S. troops have less stand-off--i.e., less ability to construct a fortified perimeter that pushes potential attackers away from the U.S. troops.  Less stand-off means attackers can get closer.  Insurgents face an easier tactical problem in planning their attacks on these outposts.  We may see a surge in the coming days.  Yes sir.  But it may be a surge of attacks on these small outposts.

We are well on track for the second consecutive month in which U.S. military casualties will exceed that of their Iraqi counterparts.  Do you understand this point?  The burden of "defending" the new Iraq government is being borne primarily by U.S. troops not Iraqi troops.  That is not a recipe for success or victory.  It the Iraqi military and police will not bear the brunt of ensuring security in their own country then our soldiers have no business being there.  Looks to me like the Iraqis are playing us for suckers.  And many U.S. soldiers who are the same age of the Virginia Tech students who died last week shed their blood for nothing today.  And you wonder why I'm pissed?

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