Thursday, April 12, 2007

More progress in Iraq

Below Condi Rice lays out what the strategy is for the new surge. This is why every active duty service member is going to be called up for 15 month deployments. This is why the Pentagon is callng up 13,000 more National Guard troops, so we can get this job done.

Condi says:

"We are moving from a stage of transition toward the strategy to prepare a permanent Iraqi government for a decisive victory. The strategy that is being carried out has profited from the insights of a number of strategic thinkers, civilian and military, inside and outside of government, who have reflected on our experience and on insurgencies in other periods of history.

With our Iraqi allies, we are working to:

-- Clear the toughest places -- no sanctuaries to the enemy – and disrupt foreign support for the insurgents.

-- Hold and steadily enlarge the secure areas, integrating political and economic outreach with our military operations.

Clear the toughest places -- no sanctuaries. As we enlarge security in major urban areas and as insurgents retreat, they should find no large area where they can reorganize and operate freely. Recently our forces have gone on the offensive. In Tall Afar, near the Syrian border, and in the west along the Euphrates valley in places like Al Qaim, Haditha, and Hit, Iraqi and American forces are clearing away the insurgents.

In the past our problem was that once an area was clear, the Iraqi security forces were unable to hold it. Now, Iraqi units are more capable.

-- In August 2004, five Iraqi regular army battalions were in combat. Today, 91 Iraqi regular army battalions are in combat.

-- A year ago, no American advisors were embedded with these battalions. Now all of these battalions have American advisors.

With more capable Iraqi forces, we can implement this element of the strategy – neighborhood by neighborhood. The process has already begun. "

Oh, my bad, that was from October 19, 2005 in testimony at the Senate Committe on Foreign relations.

Well, I know that strategy from two years ago looks exactly like what they say they're doing now, but it's all completly different. This is the new Surge, not the old surge. This time for sure it'll work. Didn't you see John McCain and the third ID walk around that Market in Baghdad, that's real progess?

Of course, while the military is off protecting dignataries the insurgents are eating lunch at the Green Zone cafateria. AP reported today :"A suspected suicide bomber blew himself up in the Iraqi parliament cafeteria Thursday, killing at least eight people and wounding dozens in a stunning assault in the heart of the heavily fortified, U.S.-protected Green Zone."
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