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The growing insurgency

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Disagreeable

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Excerpts; link below; my emphasis.

"Al Qaeda's top operative in Iraq is drawing growing numbers of Iraqi nationals to his organization, increasing the reach and threat of an insurgent group that has been behind many of the most devastating attacks in the country, U.S. officials and Iraqi government leaders say.

But Zarqawi "is bringing more and more Iraqi fighters into his fold," a U.S. official said, adding that Iraqis accounted for "more than half his organization."

Details of a growing Iraqi dimension to Zarqawi's group were provided by three U.S. officials with access to classified intelligence data and who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject. Their comments reflect the government's latest attempt to come to grips with a multi-layered insurgency that has often confounded U.S. forces and intelligence agencies.

The Iraqis under Zarqawi's wing could provide him with better intelligence, and give legitimacy to a group viewed by many Iraqis as unwanted outsiders. In addition, Iraqi recruits are being exposed to the workings of a highly efficient extremist group.

The influx of Iraqis also would diminish the effect of any tightening of border controls — a key Bush administration objective — on the insurgency's strength.

"They're the best game in town, the most organized organization," said a U.S. official, who added that Zarqawi's network was also a "well-funded organization that is willing to pay people for their work" when many Iraqis, particularly police, have little or no income.

The officials noted that police in three cities, including Mosul, are not being paid. They declined to name the others."


http://news.yahoo.com/s/latimests/20050916/ts_latimes/moreiraqisluredtoalqaedagroup
 

Disagreeable

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Cal said:
Although Zarqawi is believed to command fewer than 1,000 fighters. . .
Wow, that's even a few more than a small high school!

That's right. And yet the entire military might of the US government can't stop them from killing or blowing up whatever they want, seemingly at will. Our own military leaders, on the ground in Iraq, say they can't defeat the insurgency. Can you imagine how that encourages our enemies?
 

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