Market Bombing Is Latest in Attacks on Shiites

Saturday's bombing is the latest in a string of attacks targeting areas where Shiites congregate. Military analyst Anthony Cordesman of the Center of Strategic and International Studies says the new U.S.-Iraqi security plan is high-risk and will take time to stop these kinds of attacks.

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DEBBIE ELLIOTT, host:

Attacks like yesterday's market bombing are what military strategists say poses significant challenge to the new U.S.-Iraqi security plan.

Dr. ANTHONY CORDESMAN (Center for Strategic and International Studies): If all it takes is one vehicle filled with explosives, moved into an area where people are present, that's an extraordinarily difficult thing to stop in any city.

ELLIOTT: That's Anthony Cordesman, a military analyst with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Dr. CORDESMAN: So when you're talking about an ongoing campaign where you have thousands of people who now have experience in doing this kind of bombing, it's almost impossible to put a total end to it. The question is whether you can reduce the numbers and whether you could create a climate which over time is going to provide enough human intelligence so that any strange vehicle will produce an immediate warning.

ELLIOTT: Cordesman says officials hope the new U.S.-Iraqi security plan for Baghdad will do just that.

Dr. CORDESMAN: This is very much an experiment. It depends on the use of intelligence, coordination between the U.S. and Iraqi forces on building political support, on a whole approach which has never really been tried before. It is a high-risk operation, which doesn't mean it's going to fail, but it does mean that it isn't going to succeed quickly, and no one can be certain whether it will succeed at all.

ELLIOTT: Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

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