"A senior member of Muqtada al-Sadr's Iraqi Shi'ite militia, the Mahdi Army, says the group is forming a squadron of up to 1,500 elite fighters to go to Lebanon.One pretty good reason for the US not to escalate a confrontation with Shi'ite Muslims of any nationality has been the tenuous supply chain of the Americans now spread throughout Iraq. Billmon quotes from a former US intelligence officer writing in the Christian Science Monitor:
The plan reflects the potential of the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah to strengthen radical elements in Iraq and neighboring countries and to draw other regional players into the Lebanon conflict.
"We are choosing the men right now," said Abu Mujtaba, who works in the loosely organized following of radical Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. "We are preparing the right men for the job." "
"American troops all over central and northern Iraq are supplied with fuel, food, and ammunition by truck convoy from a supply base hundreds of miles away in Kuwait. All but a small amount of our soldiers' supplies come into the country over roads that pass through the Shiite-dominated south of Iraq . . .Billmon points out the eternal failing of politicians and pundits:
Southern Iraq is thoroughly infiltrated by Iranian special operations forces working with Shiite militias, such as Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army and the Badr Brigades. Hostilities between Iran and the United States or a change in attitude toward US forces on the part of the Baghdad government could quickly turn the supply roads into a "shooting gallery" 400 to 800 miles long."
"There's a saying: Amateurs talk strategy; professionals talk logistics. "Indeed. And even the above nightmare scenario for the US - having to bloodily fight their way out of Iraq -assumes that unrest doesn't spread elsewhere across the Middle East as well. The "New American Century" could be over before it's begun.