Baghdad stands on the brink as we observe 4th Generation Warfare in action:
Fierce fighting has been reported on the outskirts of Baghdad where ISIS militants are attempting to seize control of the Iraqi capital – despite ongoing Western airstrikes against the terror group.
The fighting is taking place just one mile to the west of the city, with government forces desperately trying to hold off the militants, who allegedly killed up to 1,000 soldiers during clashes yesterday.
ISIS have held a number of towns and villages close to the Iraqi capital since earlier in the year, when government troops melted away following a lightning advance in the west of the country – enabling the terrorist group to seize further swaths of territory for their so-called caliphate.
Once ISIS takes Baghdad, I think it will be time to drop the “so-called” from the description of the caliphate. I’m far from only one who expected a new caliphate to arise in the Middle East, but I am a little astonished at the speed with which it has risen and filled the vaccuum left by the ill-considered American conquest of Ba’athist Iraq. Consider William Lind’s predictions back in 2004:
An article in the Friday, March 29 Washington Post pointed to the long-expected opening of Phase III of America’s war with Iraq. Phase I was the jousting contest, the formal “war” between America’s and Iraq’s armies that ended with the fall of Baghdad. Phase II was the War of National Liberation waged by the Baath Party and fought guerilla-style. Phase III, which is likely to prove the decisive phase, is true Fourth Generation war, war waged by a wide variety of non-state Iraqi and other Islamic forces for objectives and motives that reach far beyond politics.
The Post article, “Iraq Attacks Blamed on Islamic Extremists,” contains the following revealing paragraph:
In the intelligence operations room at the 1st Armored Division’s headquarters (in Baghdad), wall-mounted charts identifying and linking insurgents depict the changing battlefield. Last fall the organizational chart of Baathist fighters and leaders stretched for 10 feet, while charts listing known Islamic radicals took up a few pieces of paper. Now, the chart of Iraqi religious extremists dominates the room, while the poster depicting Baathist activity has shrunk to half of its previous size.
The article goes on to quote a U.S. intelligence officer as adding, “There is no single organization that’s behind all this. It’s far more decentralized than that.”
Welcome to Phase III. The remaining Ba’athists will of course continue their War of National Liberation, and Fourth Generation elements have been active from the outset. But the situation map in the 1st Armored Division’s headquarters reveals the “tipping point”: Fourth Generation war is now the dominant form of war against the Americans in Iraq.
And with the fall of Baghdad, Phase III of America’s war with Iraq will be complete and mark America’s defeat by the very 4th Generation elements of whom Lind warned ten years ago.