News War Bulletin
posted by June 4 at 10:55 AMon
Depressing news on the surge from the New York Times:
Three months after the start of the Baghdad security plan that has added thousands of American and Iraqi troops to the capital, they control fewer than one-third of the city’s neighborhoods, far short of the initial goal for the operation, according to some commanders and an internal military assessment.
The surge has had some success, but—according to the article—American and Iraqis have been able to secure “only 146 of the 457 Baghdad neighborhoods.” And it’s not going to get any easier anytime soon, especially since:
Iraqi police and army units, which were expected to handle basic security tasks, like manning checkpoints and conducting patrols, have not provided all the forces promised, and in some cases have performed poorly.
That is forcing American commanders to conduct operations to remove insurgents from some areas multiple times. The heavily Shiite security forces have also repeatedly failed to intervene in some areas when fighters, who fled or laid low when the American troops arrived, resumed sectarian killings.
Meanwhile, retired Army Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, who commanded U.S. forces in the Iraq War’s first year, offers a bleak assessment of the situation:
“I think if we do the right things politically and economically with the right Iraqi leadership we could still salvage at least a stalemate, if you will—not a stalemate but at least stave off defeat.”