AC: "The flaw in the plan..."
JOHN ROBERTS: Now to Iraq and how is this for surreal. When it comes to the war tonight, a figure of speech is literally coming true. Right in the middle of what many are calling a last-ditch effort to secure Baghdad, they're actually about to start digging ditches. Iraqi officials today outlined a plan to ring Baghdad and the 6 million people who live there with a network of 28 checkpoints with trenches in between them. It's the latest development in a season that has already seen thousands of American and Iraqi troops flooding the city neighborhoods, while insurgent attacks just keep on coming. CNN's Michael Ware sees it all up close every day, he joins us now from Baghdad. Tell us more, Michael, about this plan to put in these defensive emplacements around Baghdad, these big trenches.
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, it's unclear at this stage how serious people will be taking this suggestion, which has been floated by the controversial Ministry of Interior. The spokesman for the Ministry says the idea was inspired from a battle which was led by the Prophet Mohammad in 627 AD, where a city was ringed by trenches to defend it from a much larger force. He's trying to translate that idea into modern times, saying if it could have been dug then with hand tools, surely we can do it today with modern equipment. The idea is to encircle Baghdad with these trenches, there's no details on how big or how deep, getting 28 checkpoints or entrances in and out of the city. Militarily, already some questions are being raised about the plan, obviously. Making so many checkpoints or just so many entrances and exits to city is also choke points, this is the sort of place that insurgents would love to attack. A perfect place for a car bomb and we've seen that sealing off smaller cities still does not stop the insurgents or the car bombs. John?
ROBERTS: Michael, we know that Baghdad is an area of real concern for U.S. forces and Iraqi troops, they have been bolstering the forces in there. The question is though, are troops being diverted from other areas of Iraq to come into Baghdad?
WARE: Very much there's a focus on -- as American commanders at the highest levels and both within the command structure and military intelligence say it's Baghdad, Baghdad, Baghdad. They claim that the war could all but be won or lost here in the capital, if this massive operation, the Battle of Baghdad, Operation Together Forward, fails to reclaim the city from insurgents, militias and death squads, they say that the whole war could be lost. So focus is being drawn from elsewhere. Meanwhile, in al-Anbar province, an al-Qaeda-led insurgency with al-Qaeda national headquarters sitting there under the noses of U.S. forces cannot be defeated, according to the U.S. marine general who owns that province. He says, "I have enough troops in my current mission which is to train Iraqis, I do not have enough troops to win." John?
ROBERTS: And despite all this focus on Baghdad, Michael, there is still many killings going on there, dozens and dozens of them. Is the strategy not working?
WARE: Well, we're still seeing in a period of three days, well over 100 bodies executed and tortured, many of them, according to Iraqi police, showing up in the streets. I mean, this operation, as large as it is, having searched something like 28,000 homes, has only found a few dozen weapons caches, made 90-odd arrests, it's very small. And the flaw in the plan, well one of the questions, should I say in the plan, is that firstly, they're working with the very Iraqi security forces that it's alleged the death squads are coming from and they then hand these areas over to the same Iraqi forces. John?
ROBERTS: Problem after problem. Michael Ware for us in Baghdad, Michael thanks very much.
More now on those killings that Michael just talked about, specifically the rising number of them. Here is the raw data for you. Since Wednesday, at least 130 bodies have been found in Baghdad, most of the victims were shot in the head and dumped in various parts of the city. The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations says Iraqi casualties climbed 51 percent over the past three months and the number of weekly attacks rose 15 percent.