Phil Carter writes a short essay on why the coordinated Baghdad attacks portend a new Iraqi guerilla campaign. These are more sophisticated than previous attacks, and he thinks its a paradigm shift because: 1) The attacks today were time-coordinated so that they would happen with near simultaneity; 2) The attacks today employed suicide bombers, something not frequently seen in Iraq; 3) Today’s attacks also were precisely targeted at "soft" symbolic targets of the continuing U.S. occupation.
He thinks the trend is clear: "We are seeing the outbreak of a truly 4th Generation War in Iraq, which pits American-led forces against a loose-knit network of guerillas with increasingly sophisticated tactics, techniques and procedures. If I had to guess, these tactics are being heavily influenced by both Al Qaeda and Ansar Al-Islam, as well as other international terror groups, and there are probably a number of veteran terrorists directing the action from behind the scenes now. The only viable course of action at this point is to seize the offensive -- to gather intelligence, launch raids, and disrupt the terrorist cells before they can strike again. Undoubtedly, our enemies are planning to strike again."