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Why the Surge is working

The surge is working, which is why we don't hear nearly as much about Iraq in the media these days. Yesterday the New York Post had a really interesting article about why the surge is working even though it isn't at its full strength yet:

'I WALKED down the streets of Ramadi a few days ago, in a soft cap eating an ice cream with the mayor on one side of me and the police chief on the other, having a conversation." This simple act, Gen. David Petraeus told me, would have been "unthinkable" just a few months ago. "And nobody shot at us," he added.


Petraeus, the new commander managing the "surge" of troops in Iraq, will be the first to caution realism. "Sure we see improvements - major improvements," he said in our interview, "but we still have a long way to go."

What tactics are working? "We got down at the people level and are staying," he said flatly. "Once the people know we are going to be around, then all kinds of things start to happen."

More intelligence, for example. Where once tactical units were "scraping" for intelligence information, they now have "information overload," the general said. "After our guys are in the neighborhood for four or five days, the people realize they're not going to just leave them like we did in the past. Then they begin to come in with so much information on the enemy that we can't process it fast enough."

In intelligence work - the key to fighting irregular wars - commanders love excess.

[...]

Another change: an emphasis on protecting of gathering places like mosques and marketplaces. "We initiated Operation Safe Markets," Petraeus said, "and have placed ordinary concrete highway barriers around the vulnerable targets." Car bombings have dropped precipitately - the limited access thwarts them.

As a result, "The marketplaces, including the book market that was targeted for an especially vicious attack, are rebuilding and doing great business. It is helping the local economy enormously to have this kind of protection in place." With jobs plentiful and demand growing, the appeal of militia armies declines proportionally.

Nor is the Iraqi government simply standing aside and allowing U.S. and Coalition forces to do their work. The Shia prime minister walked the Sunni streets of Ramadi recently, meeting and greeting the people - "acting like a politician," Petraeus said, without malice. "He is making the point with them that he intends to represent all sectors of Iraqi society, not just his sectarian roots."

Good news. With surge only in its beginning stages, hopefully things will get even better as time goes on. I only wish the surge had been implemented much, much earlier.


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Comments (37)

Then they begin t... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
Then they begin to come in with so much information on the enemy that we can't process it fast enough."

I believe the majority of Iraqis want to have a future and realize radical Islam is not the answer and are turning people in when they feel safe.

But despite this type of news Democrats have already invested every political point into failure and will continue to undermine the war because all their credibility rests on it.

But for Democrats and their fringe groups, they are in a lose-lose situation, IMHO.

If President Bush succeeds, Democrats will forever be remembered as weak on national security especially during these days of terrorism.

If President Bush fails and Iraq collapses, Democrats will be forever remembered as the party that allowed the slaughter of untold numbers for political purposes.

I'd like it to work, but I'... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

I'd like it to work, but I'm not going to get to excited by an article in the New York Post! Let's wait and see...

Can we find common ground o... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

Can we find common ground on this?
http://iraqmemorial.org/

every day we are there..more die..
please visit there...
Those that die in uniform..are real people..family...friends..lives..

You can see how the surge i... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

You can see how the surge is working here:
http://www.icasualties.org/oif/

Pub10 times I aske... (Below threshold)
Screejay:

Pub

10 times I asked you this question. When you talk about the war being miss-managed - you agree then we should have used the heavy hand vs. the soft hand and killed the looters of Baghdad?

Nogo

Kiss my a$$. It's my life on the line, and I believe in the cause and the surge. What has this conflict cost you? Jack and $hit.

You are the problem when the enemy seeks to win through asymmetrical warfare. STFU.

Cheers
Screejay

Can we find common... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
Can we find common ground on this?

Sure we can. We can all hope "together" that the "surge" continues to give Iraqis a true sense of security and they continue to turn in the radicals and that this is the beginning of the end when Iraqis can start taking care of their own security and our troops can come home.

Come on nogo postal, give me a concurring "amen" on our success in Iraq. Especially for those fallen that you linked to.

Screejay,Amen and ... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Screejay,

Amen and amen, Brother. And thanks for your service.

If the surge succeeds, the Dems fail, and vice-versa. That, Pontius, is veritas.

It took the election of a D... (Below threshold)
Lee:

It took the election of a Democratic Congress for Bush to change gears, dump Rumsfeld, and move to end this mess. Imagine the quagmire we'd be in if the election had turned the other way.

NogoWhy the shotgu... (Below threshold)
Screejay:

Nogo

Why the shotgun approach to those that die in uniform.

Try Kevin Shea

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/kmshea.htm

He was my friend and classmate. I know what he was fighting for. You obviously don't.

I will fight for your rights, but I don't have to like it.

Cheers
Screejay

Imagine the quagmi... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
Imagine the quagmire we'd be in if the election had turned the other way

Lee, if Democrats really had their way we would be leaving or gone and we would be watching the Iraqi people being slaughtered based on the Democratic Party position on the war.

You and your fellow "cut and runners" should be damn glad you are not getting what you actually wished for.

But really, it was just political posturing and show for the moonbats. And boy those moonbats are getting pissed and turning on Democrats. But they did create the monster.

"Once the people know we... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

"Once the people know we are going to be around, then all kinds of things start to happen."

If, as the General is saying, convincing the Iraqis that we're not leaving has lead to greater stability, that confirms that the Democrats pushing to cut-and-run was giving hope to the enemy and undermining the effort.

The quickest way to bring the most troops safely home is to convince the enemy that there's no hope for him.

Screejay, thank you for your service. There are those of us that actually do support the troops and their effort.

Mike, Clay etc..It... (Below threshold)
Screejay:

Mike, Clay etc..

It's an honor and pleasure to serve. Thank you for the support, it is important.

Nogo, Pub, BarneyG don't get it, the actions and words they speak directly effect those of us in uniform.

GOE has lit a fire under my rear.

We are either for a win, or we are not, the public will decide, right or wrong. But I will not be silent about my perspective anymore.

My view, democrats are now invested in us losing. They have bet the bank, that's why they think or need the surge to fail.

Cheers
Screejay

Lee, imagine what we could ... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

Lee, imagine what we could have accomplished if the Democrats had invested in American victory at ANY point in this war.

Screejay, thank your for your service, from a sub vet.

Go here for the daily repor... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Go here for the daily report from Iraq. Roggio is an embed.

http://billroggio.com/dailyiraqreport/2007/03/daily_iraq_report_for_march_21.php

How clueless can you possi... (Below threshold)
dr lava:

How clueless can you possibly be to call this latest Bush debacle a success. With this logic the police don't have a problem with the wife beater in the house because he stopped beating his wife while they were on the porch.

One of you war cheerleaders answer some questions. What is the miltarys plan to heal the hatred between the Sunnis and the Shia?

How are the 3 factions gonna react when they read the PSAs the Bush administration is trying to get the Iraqi parliment to sign on to. You think the Sunnis are gonna be happy with 10% of the countries oil revenue?

My God some of you folks are in a dream world and your support of this catastrophe is psychotic.

Some of these poor 'bats ar... (Below threshold)
kim:

Some of these poor 'bats are going to be moaning 'quagmire' in their sleep for years.
===================================

screejay: THX for you servi... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

screejay: THX for you service and semper fi, but why has GOE lit a fire that Esprit d' Corps hasn't. All this use of fighters as poster children is very, very odd. And insulting to your training I would think. And what about lack of battle lines? Is that ever discussed? Why is the enemy left with the advantage?

The Sunni may well be conte... (Below threshold)
kim:

The Sunni may well be content with 10% of the oil revenue. Less than 10% of production is from Sunni territory. In Saudi Arabia, also, the Shia populate most of the oil-producing areas.

Granted, the Sunni have been used to 100% of the oil production revenues in both countries.

But what about justice? Justice will heal the Shia/Sunni split. That and moderates. Go read Bernard Lewis speech this month.
=======================

bryanD expects a battle lin... (Below threshold)
kim:

bryanD expects a battle line in assymetrical warfare. Hey, Bud, just download the cheats.
=================================

BryanDSempe... (Below threshold)
Screejay:


BryanD

Semper Fi

If the inferior power is in an aggressive position, however, and/or turns to tactics prohibited by the laws of war (jus in bello), its success depends on the superior power's refraining from like tactics. For example, the Law of land warfare prohibits the use of a flag of truce or clearly-marked medical vehicles as cover for an attack or ambush, but an asymmetric combatant using this prohibited tactic depends on the superior power's obedience to the corresponding law. Similarly, laws of warfare prohibit combatants from using civilian settlements, populations or facilities as military bases, but when an inferior power uses this tactic, it depends on the premise that the superior power will respect the law that they are violating, and will not attack that civilian target, or if they do the propaganda advantage will outweigh the material loss.

Is the American public ready for a heavy hand? No, therefore my training takes into account collateral damage, impact, clinical impression to the media.

GOE is what it is - veterans saying they never lost, but America gave up the fight, now war protesters want to give up the fight under the pretense that they support the troops - Rubbish.

"ome (sic) of these poor 'b... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

"ome (sic) of these poor 'bats are going to be moaning 'quagmire' in their sleep for years."

Asleep and awake and for at least 30 years especially before each election.

Propaganda advantage points... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Propaganda advantage points? OH FUCK! (We're SUNK!)..."Is the American public ready for a heavy hand? No..." Heavy hand? To win? I think you'd be suprised! I'm anti-Iraq War because this is being conducted by politicians as an emergency management exercise. Propaganda should be the servant to victory, not a GOAL in and of itself. If it is, then we're losing our asses off. Natives versus Imperialists. That dialectic is okay if victory is on it's heels. So is "heavy-handedness! But leaving the situation static, and with our policy dependent on OTHERS (Maliki, etc), is to not be in control. It's hobbling the military. GOE should march on the Pentagon and White House. semper fi.

Patraeus, murderer! No blo... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Patraeus, murderer! No blood for oil! Or Halliburton.

Bring the troops home, we lost, etc. etc. piffle.

What will the Left have if we actually win this thing? Not only an exploding head, but nothing to talk about.

BryanD, you dumb ass, at le... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

BryanD, you dumb ass, at least Lee had the good sense to scram when a serving marine gave you some insight into this.

I'd say Screejay has absolute moral authority, as his ass is on the line for some miserable #uck like you, and me.

I'm for a win, and I don't need a few paragraphs to parse it. Either you want America to win in Iraq, or you don't.

And we all know where you Libs. stand, cheap slogans notwithstanding.

Mitchell, I was discharged ... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Mitchell, I was discharged many moons ago and did my time. I like screejay even though we seem to disagree. He's gung-ho. That's natural for a patriot and especially fine-honed in the Marine Corps, else who would put their ass on the line? It's might be the finest expression of the God-given attribute that makes the prospect of death easier to take. But what are you? Besides dick-cheese, I mean.

Mitchell, And dick-cheese: ... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Mitchell, And dick-cheese: you neocon wannabes use a lot of words like "scram" and "run" in your vocabulary. Projecting yourself onto others perhaps? As a matter of fact, when screejay called me out on another thread re: my service, and though I was about to do something else, I HAD to respond. I don't run, so avert your eyes, turd!

BryanD, RA1986322? ETS 05/1... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

BryanD, RA1986322? ETS 05/11/69 That is 5 Nov. When did you turn coward?

BryanD, RA1986322? ETS 05/1... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

BryanD, RA1986322? ETS 05/11/69 That is 5 Nov. When did you turn coward?

bryanDirtbag--we are waitin... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

bryanDirtbag--we are waiting---------

Dirtbags, gotta love to hat... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Dirtbags, gotta love to hate 'em.

It's obvious from the posts... (Below threshold)
dr lava:

It's obvious from the posts above me that most folks in on this discussion haven't a clue about depth of the mayhem Bush has created in the middle east.

This simplistic nursery school view of the situation is what you get if you get all your news from Fox or Hannity.

No one ever talks about how you repair the Sunni/Shia rift and how you stop the hatred that will continue into ethnic cleansing if we pull out.

There is NO discussions of what is the crux of the matter, the PSA's.

Wow! It appears from the ab... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Wow! It appears from the above dimmer commenter that our wittle bwains can't phathom the complexities of the middle east. You know, the area where they have been killing each other for thousands of years. The only thing they agree on is that all Jews are pigs and should be killed. Well, I hope the next post uses more pictures and smaller words. ww

Dr. Lava's degree must not ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Dr. Lava's degree must not be in literacy. Take my suggestion, Professor, and go read Bernard Lewis. Learn what the term 'justice' means in Islam. A long journey begins with the first step.
==================================

dr lava,I... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

dr lava,

It's obvious from the posts above me that most folks in on this discussion haven't a clue about depth of the mayhem Bush has created in the middle east.

Mayhem is synonymous with the middle east, and that was true before our young country ever got involved.

No one ever talks about how you repair the Sunni/Shia rift and how you stop the hatred that will continue into ethnic cleansing if we pull out.

If there were a single solution, we would have already found it.

The foremost catalyst to peace, is uncoincidentally order. Order can be best attained, or at least forced with a troop surge, which in the early stages seems to be working.

The Production Sharing Agreement has not been approved yet. There's still room for revisions.

All in all, dr lava, you seem to be wanting to paint the ceiling of the the Sistine Chapel in one stroke. Keep focused on the goal, but don't put the goal ahead of the process.

Incidentally, this is an interesting (but kind of unrelated) active map of the middle east throughout history. Enjoy.


you neocon wannabes<... (Below threshold)
Clay:

you neocon wannabes

Lefties love to use this name as a derision as if they know what it means. The problem is that they don't know the definition of 'neocon'. Do you? I'll bet not, but I'll bet you'll google it, you twerp.

nogo, "Can we find common g... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

nogo, "Can we find common ground on this?
http://iraqmemorial.org/"

Sure we could, if it weren't for the moveon.org moonbats running that site. Nice try nogo.

Clay, it's just the ol' bet... (Below threshold)
kim:

Clay, it's just the ol' betrayal thing rearing it's ugly head. It's the 'neo' which pejorates. It really just means newly mindful geopolitically and classical liberal, but look at all the verminous attitudes that surround the use of the word.

Dam joos. Ever Again.
==========




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