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(Part one here.)
Here's a snaphot of Iraq today, from Reuters:
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The U.S. military will transfer control of security in Iraq's Anbar province to Iraqi forces this week, a remarkable turnaround given the vast western region was considered lost to insurgents less than two years ago.(Hat tip to Long War Journal's DJ Elliott for comment here.)
Anbar will be the 10th of Iraq's 18 provinces returned to Iraqi security control since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, but it will be the first Sunni Arab region handed back.
Mamun Sami Rasheed, Anbar's governor, said the handover ceremony would take place on Saturday.
"We have been dreaming of this event since 2003," he said.
I've been running an ongoing series here detailing how this happened.
For more recent details, here's the DoD's June, 2008 report to congress, Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq:
Assessment of the Security Environment—Western IraqFrom the same report, a bit of an explanation of what Provincial Iraqi Control means:
Security in Anbar Province continued to improve this reporting period... In Anbar, the average number of security incidents remained at five incidents per day over a 90-day period, accounting for less than 4% of the attacks in all of Iraq. This represents a ten-fold reduction compared to the summer of 2006 and is half of the rate of the last few months of 2007. The combined efforts of SoIs [greyhawk: Sons of Iraq] and Iraqi and Coalition forces continue to hinder AQI’s [gh: al Qaeda in Iraq] ability to obtain resources or operate effectively in population centers, forcing AQI to operate and conduct attacks from remote locations in the province. Despite these setbacks, AQI continues efforts to regain footholds in the Euphrates River Valley.
The Iraqi Army has handed over security responsibilities in most of Anbar’s population centers to the Iraqi Police, allowing the Army to concentrate its efforts on driving AQI from hideouts in remote locations. The Sahawa al-Iraq (SAI) tribal movement has survived AQI attacks against its key leaders, and instead is successfully using the attacks to embolden local tribes and strengthen its own influence. SAI recently registered as a political party and intends to compete in the upcoming fall provincial elections and the subsequent nation elections, although the GoI [gh: government of Iraq] has yet to act on SAIs request to become a national political party. The movement continues to position itself as an alternative to existing provincial political leaders, deriving much of its credibility from its fight against AQI and the resulting security gains. For several months, SAI leaders have reached out to prominent Shi’a figures in other provinces to promote reconciliation and unity under the theme of “One Iraq.”
Transferring Security Responsibility
Currently, half of Iraq’s 18 provinces are under Provincial Iraqi Control (PIC). In support of the U.S. Government strategic objective to strengthen the Iraqi forces and transition primary security responsibility to the GoI, Anbar and Qadisiyah Provinces are scheduled to transition to PIC in June and July 2008, respectively. This will bring the total number of provinces for which the GoI has lead security responsibility to 11 of 18 provinces.
In PIC provinces, Iraqi forces demonstrate varying abilities to maintain domestic order and prevent a resurgence of terrorism. Examples of this are the recent ISF-led operations in Basrah. On short notice and with little Coalition planning support, the ISF were able to rapidly deploy forces to the city to engage rogue militias. Once operations were underway, the ISF required Coalition Military and Police Transition Teams and Coalition staff assistance to obtain and move logistics assets to support its forces in the field. The Transition Teams proved particularly helpful in their ability to increase Iraqi and Coalition forces’ situational awareness and facilitate employment of additional Coalition enablers. As operations progressed, many Iraqi forces grew increasingly competent and were able to restore security in much of the Basrah area within one week.
Other graphs from the report include this one - the first I've seen that acknowledges the Ramadan spikes I wrote about some time ago. (See also my Ramadan, 2007 report from Baghdad here, or my Ramadan, 2004 report from Baghdad here).
Qadisayah goes PIC in July. The Polish Bde, 8th IA, and Provincial officials had their last meeting prior to PIC according to MND-CS website...Posted by DJ Elliott at June 24, 2008 12:29 PM
They added a 2nd Marine Battalion to the Iraqi Navy.
They are adding a 3rd NP Division.
And if you check the endnotes you will find they are probably shifting an IA Division from Baghdad to Maysan.
Look at the list of Location Commands formed and forming (note 28).
Only two in Baghdad Province and a new one for Maysan...
This is not the Anbar Province that I knew from talkin' to Harry Reid and John Murtha - Barack ObamaPosted by shiva irons at June 24, 2008 02:36 PM
The map will look AWESOME after Anbar is given over to Iraqi Provintial Control this weekend. Anbar is incredibly large and this is no small feat.Posted by Amy Proctor at June 24, 2008 02:40 PM
But this war is unwinnable and I'm going to keep my kids in diapers until they're too old to enlist.Posted by Alex's Mom at June 25, 2008 12:59 PM
Nice maps and charts. Too bad they're too small to read properly.Posted by Brian H at June 25, 2008 07:25 PM
I urge you to click the provided links that take you to the full report (the entire first chart is a link, for example) where you'll find larger versions - and more charts.
You can also read it and full and draw your own conclusions on its content/conclusions.
Those links, by the way, are the difference between mainstream media reports and mine - they don't provide acess to the original document (even though its obviously not difficult to do) - they just give readers their interpretation. More on that in a later installment.
(By th eway, please note I also avoid insulting readers by telling them what those charts and paragraphs mean.)Posted by Greyhawk at June 26, 2008 04:31 PM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(7) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)