Progress in Iraq?

#1
New dispatch from Michael Yon discusses progress in Iraq. Might not agree with why we're there but the reality is that we are there just as well as you have something to show for it. Compared to what he had to say a year ago, I would say that we're definitely making progress towards limiting AQI operational abilities in Iraq.

The personal relationships built by the Troopers of 1-4 CAV with individuals on the streets here is the key. Like any good relationship, we care for the people in our area without condition. We are there every hour of every day and do our best to change the conditions on the ground that allow an insurgency to flourish. We will never detain or kill them all so we work to create an environment where they cannot survive.

One other example, recently we had seven IEDs discovered or detonated in a single seven day span. On every one, we got a phone call from a local national telling us exactly where it was or we were called immediately after and told who emplaced it. For the record, not one IED was effective.

C Troop even caught one emplacer who videotaped his buddies setting in the IED and then blowing it (no one was injured!). Thinking quickly, the 1st Platoon maneuvered through some side streets and the perpetrator literally ran right into them with the video on a thumb drive in his pocket! Perhaps one of the tightest cases ever!

While the situation is always fragile, we have the initiative and the enemy here spends much more time reacting to us than we do to him. He can hide from us but he cannot hide from his neighbor.

Once abandoned streets are now filled with families and budding entrepreneurs who continue to open new small businesses every week. We have made available grants for small businesses in our area and they have become immensely popular as you can imagine. I cannot walk the streets without children asking me for a soccer ball and “chocolate” (meaning any kind of candy) and adults asking for a micro grant application or for the status of the one they already filled out. They use these grants to open new businesses or improve their existing one and it is working well.

Our area now has a men’s fashion store, fish markets, pharmacies, bakeries, and even two new gyms. We recently helped refurbish a once neglected clinic into a first class location for health care. They have a small lab, dentists, a sonogram machine, x-ray machine, and other new equipment. Our medical platoon recently spent several hours with local doctors and nurses treating patients for every day aches and pains with donated medical supplies from a humanitarian organization. I even watched our physician’s assistant pull a watermelon seed out of a young girl’s ear (sound familiar to any one?).

We also recently completed work on a soccer field that is used nightly by the young people here. Much to our surprise, on the opening night, each team had “1-4 CAV” printed on the back of their soccer jerseys. It is not uncommon for us to see guys with these jerseys on walking down the street. A second soccer field will open shortly.
http://www.michaelyon-online.com/wp/achievements-of-the-human-heart.htm
 
#2
In one respect it doesn't really matter how much we're limiting AQs capabilities in Iraq. If they have any capability it's still more than they had before we went in.
 
#3
smartascarrots said:
In one respect it doesn't really matter how much we're limiting AQs capabilities in Iraq. If they have any capability it's still more than they had before we went in.
Not Al Q but certainly other terrorist organisations and individuals including Al Zaqawi (who had fought with and reported for Al Q) and various Palestinians including Hamas. Fawzi al-Naimi, an Iraqi intelligence officer was the officer who ran the terrorists in the Iran Embassy siege.




On a totally different tack, another superb report by Michael Yon. All three dispatches of 'Achievements of the Human Heart' show how it could be done.
 
#4
Sven said:
smartascarrots said:
In one respect it doesn't really matter how much we're limiting AQs capabilities in Iraq. If they have any capability it's still more than they had before we went in.
Not Al Q but certainly other terrorist organisations and individuals including Al Zaqawi (who had fought with and reported for Al Q) and various Palestinians including Hamas. Fawzi al-Naimi, an Iraqi intelligence officer was the officer who ran the terrorists in the Iran Embassy siege.




On a totally different tack, another superb report by Michael Yon. All three dispatches of 'Achievements of the Human Heart' show how it could be done.
But Yon was commenting specifically on AQ. Would he have been as upbeat on waking up in hospital to be told they'd managed to save most of his leg if he knew damn fine he hadn't needed an op before being admitted? I seriously doubt he'd be praising how well the surgery went.
 
#5
smartascarrots said:
Sven said:
smartascarrots said:
In one respect it doesn't really matter how much we're limiting AQs capabilities in Iraq. If they have any capability it's still more than they had before we went in.
Not Al Q but certainly other terrorist organisations and individuals including Al Zaqawi (who had fought with and reported for Al Q) and various Palestinians including Hamas. Fawzi al-Naimi, an Iraqi intelligence officer was the officer who ran the terrorists in the Iran Embassy siege.




On a totally different tack, another superb report by Michael Yon. All three dispatches of 'Achievements of the Human Heart' show how it could be done.
But Yon was commenting specifically on AQ. Would he have been as upbeat on waking up in hospital to be told they'd managed to save most of his leg if he knew damn fine he hadn't needed an op before being admitted? I seriously doubt he'd be praising how well the surgery went.
I would be extremely interested in just where in any of the three dispatches of Achievements of the Human Heart Yon commented "specifically on AQ"
 
#6
smartascarrots said:
Sven said:
smartascarrots said:
In one respect it doesn't really matter how much we're limiting AQs capabilities in Iraq. If they have any capability it's still more than they had before we went in.
Not Al Q but certainly other terrorist organisations and individuals including Al Zaqawi (who had fought with and reported for Al Q) and various Palestinians including Hamas. Fawzi al-Naimi, an Iraqi intelligence officer was the officer who ran the terrorists in the Iran Embassy siege.


On a totally different tack, another superb report by Michael Yon. All three dispatches of 'Achievements of the Human Heart' show how it could be done.
But Yon was commenting specifically on AQ. Would he have been as upbeat on waking up in hospital to be told they'd managed to save most of his leg if he knew damn fine he hadn't needed an op before being admitted? I seriously doubt he'd be praising how well the surgery went.
Iraq simply attracted the moths to the flame, it didn't create the moths as opposed to the so many arm chair pros that insist otherwise.

Again, I don't agree with the reasons why we are there, but the reality is that we are there and it is what it is.
 
#8
#10
Sven said:
I would be extremely interested in just where in any of the three dispatches of Achievements of the Human Heart Yon commented "specifically on AQ"
Fair enough, I read that into the text, as clearly did the original poster. Doesn't change the fact that none of the terrorist organisations we're now facing were perpetrating atrocities within Iraq before we went in, nor were they active at all on anywhere near the scale they are now.

ghost_us said:
Iraq simply attracted the moths to the flame, it didn't create the moths as opposed to the so many arm chair pros that insist otherwise.

Again, I don't agree with the reasons why we are there, but the reality is that we are there and it is what it is.
It certainly attracted the moths; it also caused a good many caterpillers to metamorphose into moths instead of butterflies. And then it poured petrol on the flame.

I agree we're left with the situation and have to face it as it exists, but having to bite into a shit sandwich is no reason to forget that the possibility of jam once existed; or who it was decided to spread the shit on your bread in the first place.
 
#11
smartascarrots said:
. . having to bite into a shit sandwich is no reason to forget that the possibility of jam once existed; or who it was decided to spread the shit on your bread in the first place.
Not elegant.

But fair.
 
#12
Would he have been as upbeat on waking up in hospital to be told they'd managed to save most of his leg if he knew damn fine he hadn't needed an op before being admitted? I seriously doubt he'd be praising how well the surgery went.
Iraq had a shark on its leg, went to hospital, had the shark removed, got MRSA, and is now recovering from MRSA. That the hospital was dirty was our fault, but the situation would not have arisen in the first place had it not been for the shark.

:D
 
#13
smartascarrots said:
Sven said:
I would be extremely interested in just where in any of the three dispatches of Achievements of the Human Heart Yon commented "specifically on AQ"
Fair enough, I read that into the text, as clearly did the original poster. Doesn't change the fact that none of the terrorist organisations we're now facing were perpetrating atrocities within Iraq before we went in, nor were they active at all on anywhere near the scale they are now.

ghost_us said:
Iraq simply attracted the moths to the flame, it didn't create the moths as opposed to the so many arm chair pros that insist otherwise.

Again, I don't agree with the reasons why we are there, but the reality is that we are there and it is what it is.
It certainly attracted the moths; it also caused a good many caterpillers to metamorphose into moths instead of butterflies. And then it poured petrol on the flame.

I agree we're left with the situation and have to face it as it exists, but having to bite into a shit sandwich is no reason to forget that the possibility of jam once existed; or who it was decided to spread the shit on your bread in the first place.
Reminds me of the story from a movie:

Once upon a time, a woman was picking up firewood. She came upon a poisonous snake frozen in the snow. She took the snake home and nursed it back to health. One day the snake bit her on the cheek. As she lay dying, she asked the snake, "Why have you done this to me?" And the snake answered, "Look, bitch, you knew I was a snake."
Pretty much sums up Iraq for me.
 
#14
Progress in Iraq?

Does it snow in hell?

You will never know till you get there although I suspect the answer is an emphathic 'No!' to both questions.
 
#15
Devil_Dog said:
Progress in Iraq?

Does it snow in hell?

You will never know till you get there although I suspect the answer is an emphathic 'No!' to both questions.
Here's an official American view. Seems to say

"It may snow in Hell.
Eventually.
If we work hard enough at it.
And put in more of the right resources than we have to date."

Report: Iraq Self-Reliance Years Away
By PAULINE JELINEK – 3 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — Teaching local officials in Iraq to govern themselves and provide their citizens with basic services will take "years of steady engagement." It also will rely heavily on the U.S. government's ability to recruit skilled civilians, investigators told a House panel Thursday.

"Stability operations is not a game for pick up teams," said Robert Perito, a security expert at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington.

The United States has dispatched various provincial reconstruction teams (PRTs) in Iraq and Afghanistan to teach, coach and mentor Iraqis in towns and provinces. Staffed mostly by civilian officials, with the military providing security, the teams show promise but with an effectiveness that is difficult to judge because the needs vary greatly from province to province.

The Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction concluded in a new report Thursday that the teams are making "incremental progress" but require "years of steady engagement."

Stuart W. Bowen Jr., head of the IG reconstruction office, said lessons learned from the teams point to a bigger need to coordinate relief efforts among the federal agencies.[hr]"In many locations, the PRT program in Iraq is making incremental progress in developing the nation's provincial and local government capacity to effectively govern and manage its own reconstruction, despite" continuing violence and strife, the report said. "However, Iraq's complex and overlapping sectarian, political and ethnic conflicts, as well as the difficult security situation continue to hinder progress in promoting economic development, the rule of law and political reconciliation," it said.

"Despite the best efforts of PRT civilian and military officials who are working under dangerous and austere conditions to accelerate the Iraqi transition to self-reliance, resolving these problems will likely be a slow process," Bowen said in the report.

"It will require years of steady engagement and will depend heavily on the security environment and political settlements at the national level."

The report also said that "numerous PRT officials identified rule of law as the most problematic" area. It noted that in many places there is little cooperation between police, courts, and correction facilities and that judicial orders are routinely ignored.

It also said there has been little progress toward political reconciliation.


The PRT program itself has been plagued by problems. Previous reports have found it was difficult to find people with the correct skills to do the work — particularly civilians. There also has been a shortage of Arabic speakers and understanding of Iraq's culture and history as well as a lack of organization within the U.S. government to carry out the program, according to those past report


IN FULL: http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hsFVAXRsEDvNcvEywTTwl-pCcStQ
 
#16
Again, not justifying why we're there, however, nice to know we at least learned from the last time that you need to stick with it regardless of what the press makes it out to be.
 
#17
ghost_us said:
Again, not justifying why we're there, however, nice to know we at least learned from the last time that you need to stick with it regardless of what the press makes it out to be.
That argument smacks of a Vietnam-esque 'we had to destroy the village in order to save it' mentality. A fundamentally flawed policy isn't redeemed by any amount of effective methods and a bad decision remains a bad decision regardless of subsequent events.
 
#18
smartascarrots said:
ghost_us said:
Again, not justifying why we're there, however, nice to know we at least learned from the last time that you need to stick with it regardless of what the press makes it out to be.
That argument smacks of a Vietnam-esque 'we had to destroy the village in order to save it' mentality. A fundamentally flawed policy isn't redeemed by any amount of effective methods and a bad decision remains a bad decision regardless of subsequent events.
Suggesting we have to save the village is a justification in why your in the village. I wasn't going there.

I was simply stating, your in the village, it's in flames, and instead of pulling out and saying it will burn it self out you stuck with it to see the flames extinguished where as before you would have simply said "it's too hot, cya".

We can bitch about how or why we're there later, when the mission is over. For now, we just need to see it through. At least that's my take on it.
 
#19
ghost_us said:
smartascarrots said:
ghost_us said:
Again, not justifying why we're there, however, nice to know we at least learned from the last time that you need to stick with it regardless of what the press makes it out to be.
That argument smacks of a Vietnam-esque 'we had to destroy the village in order to save it' mentality. A fundamentally flawed policy isn't redeemed by any amount of effective methods and a bad decision remains a bad decision regardless of subsequent events.
Suggesting we have to save the village is a justification in why your in the village. I wasn't going there.

I was simply stating, your in the village, it's in flames, and instead of pulling out and saying it will burn it self out you stuck with it to see the flames extinguished where as before you would have simply said "it's too hot, cya".

We can bitch about how or why we're there later, when the mission is over. For now, we just need to see it through. At least that's my take on it.
Which will result in the bods who started the whole fiasco mugging in front of the cameras with a 'Mission Accomplished' banner behind them and claiming this 'success' proves they were right all along. And conveniently ignoring the chicanery they used to get us there in the first place, and the lies and distortions used since.

If it was only about what happens to Iraq, I'd agree wholeheartedly with you. As I see it, though, the greatest threat to the future of both nations is a political establishment who thinks this sort of behaviour is a valid part of the political process and that they can get away with it. I don't want to 'draw a line under it', 'move on', or anything other than see the bastards responsible dangling from lampposts.
 
#20
smartascarrots said:
Which will result in the bods who started the whole fiasco mugging in front of the cameras with a 'Mission Accomplished' banner behind them and claiming this 'success' proves they were right all along. And conveniently ignoring the chicanery they used to get us there in the first place, and the lies and distortions used since.

If it was only about what happens to Iraq, I'd agree wholeheartedly with you. As I see it, though, the greatest threat to the future of both nations is a political establishment who thinks this sort of behaviour is a valid part of the political process and that they can get away with it. I don't want to 'draw a line under it', 'move on', or anything other than see the bas,tards responsible dangling from lampposts.
IMO the b'stard most responsible did swing. I did not like it being televised or the crowing way it was caried out, but for the life of me I consider Saddam the man most responsibe.
 

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