Got One!

DrewM over at the mothership brings us a bit of good news from Iraq. Al Queda in Iraq’s number two guy has recently gotten into the whole “body piercing” culture with a little help from the US Army…

American troops acting on a tip killed the No. 2 leader of al-Qaida in Iraq — a Moroccan known for his ability to recruit and motivate foreign fighters — in a raid in the northern city of Mosul, the U.S. military said Wednesday.

The military statement described the man, known as Abu Qaswarah, as a charismatic leader who had trained in Afghanistan and managed to rally al-Qaida followers in Iraq despite U.S. and Iraqi security gains.

Killing these guys is easy. Finding them is the tough part. That information comes from tips from concerned Iraqi citizens. And the way to get that information is by making sure they know you have their best interests at the forefront. And the way to do that is to be out on the streets, not holed up in a FOB. That was the key change in the operational doctrine when General Casey left and General Petraeus took over. When people talk about the surge, they tend to think it was just putting more troops in the fight. But while that was a necessary step, it wasn’t the key to victory.