Thursday, September 11, 2008

Iraqi Surge Was Keystone to Success in Iraq

"At the end of 2006, Iraq seemed on the verge of a civil war. Al-Qaida was inciting divisions between Sunni and Shiia Iraqis. The newly elected government seemed ineffectual. Militia groups roamed neighborhoods and intimidated those who did not agree with them.
More than 100 U.S. servicemembers per month were being killed in fighting in the country. Today, that number has dropped dramatically, thanks largely to the troop surge and a new strategy that senior military officials credit with laying the groundwork for success throughout Iraq."

The first of the surge brigades arrived in Baghdad from Kuwait in January
2007 – the 82nd Airborne Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team. The soldiers went
almost immediately into combat operations. Between then and June, four more
brigades, a Marine expeditionary unit and two Marine battalions deployed to
Iraq. Thousands of “enablers” – combat service and combat service support
servicemembers – also deployed.
“The surge allowed us to get control of areas, maintain control using Iraqi troops and police, and pump money and jobs into the economy,” the general said. “It helped us link up with the sheiks and tribal leaders and push the Awakening process along.”
In many parts of Baghdad today, markets are operating, doctors are practicing, children are learning and fathers are working. That would have been inconceivable in 2006, Campbell said.
“I saw the surge in the beginning, and when I left in December 2007 I had seen it turn Baghdad around,” he said. “The surge was very successful and I could see the results. I would have told you maybe halfway into my tour that I would not have felt good about leaving. But later, I saw all the benefits. I thought we really gave the Iraqi people a fighting chance.”

Iraqi Surge Was Keystone to Success in Iraq:

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