With an audacious rocket attack Sunday on the al-Rashid Hotel in Baghdad, Iraqi resistance fighters showed again how a strike against a high-profile target can overshadow weeks of slow progress and create the impression that the Bush administration lacks a plan for securing the country, military commanders and defense analysts said. The early morning fusillade, which killed a U.S. officer, demonstrated that the fighters could strike at the heart of American power in Baghdad, and do so despite heightened security, which was in place for Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz’s overnight stay at the official residence of the U.S.-led occupation. One defense official in Iraq said that “the strategic impact of the attack was almost as great as the bombing on the United Nations compound” in August, at least in terms of its symbolic value. Full Story
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