Assumption of Command

24 July 2005

The Iraqis are Making Strides

If you have been reading my site for a while you know that I agree with the President Bush in that the key to the war here is helping the Iraqis learn to stand up for themselves. In that theme, I have tried to find good things from the Iraqi Army in the press. I have some more to share and I am also spreading out to include the Iraq Security Forces as well.

I found 3 good articles.

The first is telling us how much of the work load the Iraqis are doing for them selves now.

Iraqi Army Running One of Every Five Operations:
U.S. officials said 35 battalion-size operations take place daily in Iraq. They said Iraqi security forces have been responsible for about 20 percent of these missions. The Iraq Army operates two brigades in the Baghdad area.

Brig. Gen. Donald Alston, a U.S. spokesman for Multinational Force, Iraq, said the Iraqi military presence has encouraged the flow of intelligence on insurgents and their weapons. Alston told a briefing on Thursday that several weapons caches were being discovered weekly in the Baghdad area, Middle East Newsline reported.
Also note how the precious Intel is flowing.

Black Anthem is a great site for good news coming from Iraq Army. I find a lot of good stuff there. Including the following two Items:

The key to this head line is "takes Charge". Hooah!

Iraqi Army takes charge during Warrior’s Rage
The joint effort brought in more than 60 terrorists through targeted raids, seeking out specific individuals suspected to have participated in actions against Iraqi and Coalition Forces.

The operation’s main players came from 4th Battalion, 1st Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division; and 3rd Battalion, 156th Infantry Regiment, 256th BCT. On the first day of the operation, the two units captured three detainees, positively identified as brigade targets.
[...]
"We concentrated on supplying a quick reaction force and elements to secure the route, and ensured that it was safe for the 4-1 to maneuver," he said. "This allowed the IA to work independently."

Bauer said the teamwork in this mission made the relationship between the two forces stronger, and also allowed the IA to prove what they can do.

"This only worked to solidify our relationship with the IA and it further validated their professionalism," he said.
[...]
Johnson said the IA decided what targets they were going to hit, when they were going to hit them, and how many forces they were going to use.

"That was a huge step forward," he said.

Capt. Stuart West from Pineville, La., commander of B Company, 3-156th Inf. Bn., said his Soldiers were thoroughly impressed with the 4-1 Soldiers’ execution of this particular operation.
This is very encouraging. It more experience the Iraqis are getting and the more control they have over successful operations the more confident they will become and this confidence will spread to other Iraqi units. As this improvement continues, the easier it will be for the US to let the Iraqi take care of themselves, as we know that they want to do.

Iraqi Security Forces Prove Capability:
Iraqi security forces continue to show their progress toward independence with their prevention of two terrorist attacks this week and their ongoing involvement in successful operations throughout the country, a military official in Baghdad said today.


Today, Iraqi security forces at a checkpoint in Baghdad prevented an attack by a car bomb and two suicide vest bombers, said Air Force Brig. Gen. Donald Alston, spokesman for Multinational Force Iraq. Before the vehicle containing the car bomb reached the checkpoint, the soldiers recognized it as a threat and engaged it, causing the bomb to detonate prematurely, Alston said.

Two people wearing suicide bomb vests then ran toward the checkpoint, and the soldiers engaged them. One bomb vest prematurely detonated, killing the bomber, and the other bomber was wounded and his vest was removed and disarmed.

On July 9, Iraqi police thwarted a possible terrorist attack on the Kuwaiti embassy in Baghdad, Alston said. Shortly before 8 a. m. , Iraqi special police guarding the embassy saw a rocket propelled grenade round placed near the building's southeast entrance, he said. An explosive ordnance disposal team was called in and safely removed the round.

These efforts by Iraqi forces are proof that their training is paying off and they are on the way to taking over the security of their country, Alston said.

"Casualties were minimized because they performed their critical jobs so well," he said. "They continue to make progress and develop their capability to provide for the defense of their country. "

The progress of the security forces makes them a prime target for terrorists, he said, but despite constant attacks, people are signing up for service in large numbers.
Stories like this are becoming more and more common. Great work! As I said above, Success breeds confidence, which in turn will spread. Success also has other effects. It encourages more people to join up in the fight against terrorism on their home soil.

This is all great news. This is the kind of stuff that makes Iraqi Soldiers and police (as well as American Soldiers) swell with pride.