Saturday, June 02, 2007

Oops, There Goes Another One.

Yet another bridge destroyed in Baghdad.

Iraqi police say insurgents have destroyed a major bridge that connects the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, with the northern cities of Kirkuk and Arbil. They say the insurgents used explosives to destroy the Sarha Bridge, near the town of Tuz Khurmato on the Chinchal River, 150 kilometres north of Baghdad. The blast severely damaged the bridge, forcing motorists into detours and traffic jams.

Several bridges have been targeted in Iraq, most notably the popular Sarafiya Bridge which was destroyed in April in a truck bombing that sent large sections of the steel structure crashing into the Tigris River in central Baghdad.

To me, it's starting to look more and more like the insurgents are working towards cutting off American forces in the city from their supply routes in order to force a decisive, Dien Bien Phu type battle. Steve Gilliard posted a detailed analysis of the supply chain situation back in February. Definitely worth another look. And for a closer look at how the military supply chain in Iraq works, here's an article from August 2005 that was also linked from Gilliard's original post. Key points:

Iraq’s roads are critical ground. The country’s network of railroad lines are not functional, mainly because of old infrastructure and a successful intimidation campaign against the families of the Iraqi civilians who run the trains, according to Chambers. “Reinvestment would not be worth it at this time,” he added, “but it’s something we may do in the future.” That left the roads, and weeklong convoy missions, as the way U.S. and coalition forces were kept in operation.

The route from south to north runs through the “Sunni triangle,” where insurgent attacks on truck convoys are daily, dangerous occurrences. Insurgents were clearly targeting the coalition supply line, but U.S. military officials did not believe their enemy had the acumen or organization to sever it. They were proven wrong in early April 2004.

The tactic described by Chambers was simple: “They went after our bridges.”

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