Dec 05 2007

Iraq Update 12/06/07

Published by at 11:22 pm under All General Discussions,Diyala,Iraq

Lots and lots of progress still pouring out of Iraq. First up is news of a Sunni-Kurd power sharing deal in the North of Iraq – ironically the last bastion of major al-Qaeda activity:

Sunni Arabs ended a yearlong political boycott Tuesday in Kirkuk — the hub of Iraq’s northern oil fields — under a cooperation pact that marked a bold attempt at unity before a planned referendum on control of the strategic region.
The Sunni-Kurdish deal — urged by U.S. diplomats — could also move ahead other reconciliation bids demanded by Washington but stalled by disputes that include sharing oil wealth and compromising with Sunnis who backed Saddam Hussein’s Baath party.

As promised, the Surge has produced breathing room for reconciliation to occur. As I mentioned, this is an area were the remnants of al-Qaeda’s forces are still active – or it might be better to say “the area al-Qaeda are retreating through”:

MOSUL, Iraq, Dec. 5 — Sunni insurgents pushed out of Baghdad and Anbar Provinces have migrated to this northern Iraqi city and have been trying to turn it into a major hub for their operations, according to American commanders.

A growing number of insurgents have relocated here and other places in northern Iraq as the additional forces sent by President Bush have mounted operations in the Iraqi capital and American commanders have made common cause with Sunni tribes in the western part of the country.

The insurgents who have ventured north include Abu Ayyub-al Masri, the leader of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, a predominantly Iraqi group that American intelligence says has foreign leadership. American officials say the insurgent leader has twice slipped in and out of Mosul in Nineveh Province to try to rally fellow militants and put end to infighting.

“We have seen some migration of Al Qaeda,” said Col. Stephen Twitty, the commander of the Fourth Brigade Combat Team, First Cavalry Division, which is returning to the United States after 13 months here. “What has driven that are the operations down south.”

Well one look at a map explains why this actually may be the path of retreat through Norther Iran and into Afghanistan – where we are seeing the fleeing forces heading”. Commanders in the region are requesting a shift of forces to the northern region, which will result in the finally purge of al-Qaeda from Iraq. Please note the public pronouncement of troop movements is meant for media digestion and dissemination – which means this ‘request’ is a done deal. At the same time Sec Def Gates is saying a successful end for Iraq is nearly at hand:

And he said much work remains to be done to ensure Iraqi forces are ready to take over more military duties from U.S. troops. Iraqis who have been fighting insurgents on the local level must be integrated into Iraqi security forces, for example, he said.

“I believe that a secure, stable Iraq is within reach,” Gates said. However, he added, “We need to be patient.”

Actually, the planning for the change over is happening and key milestones are being announced for 2008. First off is the news the Iraqi volunteer patrols will become part of the formal government security forces and be expanded next year:

The number of volunteer militiamen helping patrol the Baghdad area should grow nearly fourfold to 45,000 next year and will assume roles under Iraqi military command, a security official said Wednesday.

The comments marked the clearest signal yet that Iraq’s Shiite leadership may now be willing to work with the mostly Sunni factions — praised by the Pentagon as a key ally against extremists such as al-Qaida in Iraq.

Brig. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, the chief Iraqi military spokesman in Baghdad, predicted that the volunteer forces could swell to 45,000 next year from the current 12,000 in the Baghdad area. He also cited their contribution in the recent downturn in violence in the capital.

This was another major reconciliation point recently demanded by the Sunnis and is a huge step in reversing the de-Baathification restrictions. Of course it will also help to allow us to shift forces northward to chase the remnants of al-Qaeda back to their caves. This absorption of the US sponsored citizen patrols will entail the Iraqis will be taking over the financial responsibilities for them:

Iraq will put most of the mainly Sunni Arab neighbourhood patrols currently employed by U.S. forces on the Shi’ite-led government’s payroll by mid-2008, a senior security spokesman said on Wednesday.

The announcement means tens of thousands of armed Sunni Arabs, some believed to have fought as insurgents until this year, will soon be working for the government in Baghdad.

In another clear indication Iraq is standing up to its own responsibilities it is now purchasing its security supplies from the US:

According to Multi National Forces-Iraq, supplies are coming into the Taji National Depot recently. The most current shipment includes in the form of M-16s and M-4s. The shipment was due to the Foreign Military Sales program operated by the U.S.

The depot, located at Camp Taji, is for storage of such items for use by the Iraqi military, and multiple deliveries have been made recently to help continue the efforts of the soldiers working in Iraq.

Other items are sent to Taji for distribution besides weapons. Among the supplies are clothing, ammunition, equipment, vehicles, and parts used for repairs on various items.

“Hundreds of countries purchase supplies and equipment from the United States,” said U.S. Army Colonel Michael S. Skardon, Multi-National Security Transition Command – Iraq Security Assistance Office, section chief. “Iraq is the newest customer and using their own money to purchase items to fit their needs.”

Expect the naive and shrill cries of war-profiteering now that the US tax payer is taking on less and less of the responsibility for Iraq’s future. You know how knee-jerk liberals can be! There never is a silver lining – only grey clouds.

The tide turned in Iraq. al-Qaeda is attempting their last gasp of bloodshed to see if they can turn the SurrenderMedia back around to doom & gloom stories, but the result is further uprising in the Iraqi communities al-Qaeda must control. They are on a dead end path to defeat. There will be much progress in Iraq by the time the November elections come – heck, before the primaries are done! The dire and wrong predictions of defeat by the Dems will echo as grim reminders of how not to lose a pending victory.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Iraq Update 12/06/07”

  1. kathie says:

    A Commander and Chief so tied to polls that they would reverse a countries direction to protect their prospects in a next election is no Commander in Chief. Dems need to look in the mirror.

  2. kathie says:

    PS George Bush may be stubborn or maybe he likes to win, especially when the stakes are so high.