[S]peaking on ABC’s “This Week” television programme, Senator John Kerry said he has no doubt that “there are weapons flowing across the border” from Iran.
“Nobody questions, those of us who have been to Iraq and in the region know that there are Iranian instigators, agents in Iraq, and that’s happening, there’s no question,” Kerry said.
Like Sparse Matrix says, the official left-wing line on the Iranian IEDs is that they’re phantom weapons concocted by Chimpy as a pretext for carpet-bombing Tehran. Waffles hasn’t gotten the memo yet, so he’ll have to climb down in a few days. Keep an eye out for it. It’ll be good for a laugh when he does.
Anyway, I don’t really care about Kerry. I just wanted a clickworthy peg to get you to read a pair of excellent posts at DefenseTech, one of them about those IEDs and another about the spike in attacks on U.S. helicopters. Noah Schachtman says we shouldn’t presume conclusively that the IEDs are coming from Iran: they might well have been pioneered there (Hezbollah uses the same weapon against Israeli tanks), but terrorist technology has a habit of migrating. Nevertheless, Iran’s the prime suspect and according to the intel official who briefed reporters yesterday, it’s not just those tankbusters they’re supplying. Rockets, TNT, and shoulder-fired missiles have also come across the border.
The situation in Iraq has its parallels with the [Soviet war in Afghanistan]. The main importance of new missiles would not be in shooting down helicopters, but on the morale of both sides. The Mujahideen took new heart that the previously invincible ‘Devils Chariot’ could be defeated. Soviet helicopter crews found themselves facing an opponent who could shoot back, and were forced to adopt more evasive tactics which limited their effectiveness.
A similar decrease in effectiveness could happen in Baghdad.
Per the Times, “General Simmons said he also believed that the insurgents might be especially motivated to shoot down helicopters as a way of discrediting the new American and Iraqi security plan.”
Exit question for our weapons experts via an e-mail from Michael Yon: What on earth is this?
More (Bryan): I know that for our friends on the left there’s a mental block associated with all claims coming from the administration regarding Iranian meddling in Iraq, but Michelle and I heard on the ground in Baghdad, from a Lt Col in intelligence, that Iran has ramped up its support for the militias and insurgents in the past year to 18 months. It’s hard to say just how much of a contribution to the total violence the Iranians are making, but it’s likely significant, both in arms and training. When you have an “uninterrupted flow of weapons” coming in from Iran to Iraq and getting into the hands of the anti-US/anti-Iraq forces, you have a major problem.
The facts about Iran’s meddling in Iraq aren’t coming from the top down in some drive to expand the war; they’re coming from within Iraq and are filtering up toward an administration that has so far been very reluctant to make much noise about it. From what we learned, the troops in Iraq that are aware of the situation find the administration’s slowness to respond both perplexing and frustrating. Their fellow soldiers are dying at the hands of the mullahs, and so far the mullahs are getting away with it.