Friday, May 18, 2007

Obligatory Iraq Post

Interesting stories from the ground:

Is there hope for Baghdad? Yes. The additional U.S. forces from the surge are already showing limited signs of success. They are not the signs quantified by London or D.C. think tanks.

Every Battalion Commander I talked with gave me the same metrics to measure success--Commerce, people returning to their homes, essential services, kids playing soccer in fields they haven't played on in 2 years, professionalization of the police and security services.

Those are things that do not fit well in an index and things a person can only see on the ground by going back to the same areas of operation every few months.

Which is why I will be back in Dora and West Rasheed in a few months.


I cannot believe my eyes and ears in Anbar. Very quiet where I am. Did a foot patrol today with Iraqi Army and a couple of Marines. Local population was friendly. Have not heard a shot fired in anger in days. (Whereas before the sounds of war were nearly always in the air.)

I didn't check the NY Times this morning but were I a betting man, I'd guess such assessments were nowhere to be found anywhere in it's pages.

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