Speaking during a stop in South Carolina today, former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-TN) downplayed the Iraq insurgency as child’s play. The insurgency is made up of “a bunch of kids with improvised explosive devices,” Thompson said:
We will not be a safer country, we will not be a safer America if the whole world watches us being defeated by a bunch of kids with improvised explosive devices.
CNN has video of his remarks.
The core of Thompson’s machismo argument for remaining in Iraq appears to be that we can’t lose to “a bunch of kids.” His “analysis” is detached from the reality of what troops face in Iraq. A 2006 report by the International Crisis Group noted that the Iraqi insurgency is “no longer is a scattered, erratic, chaotic phenomenon,” but rather had developed into a sophisticated, coordinated operation:
“Groups are well organized, produce regular publications, react rapidly to political developments and appear surprisingly centralized,” the report said.
It noted the insurgency, a predominately Sunni Arab movement, has grown “more confident, better organized, coordinated, information-savvy.”
This past June, a senior military official told the Washington Post, “We are starting to see more sophistication and training” in the insurgents’ attacks.