September 30, 2005
Slowly But Surely
I posted earlier that Iraqi troops are slowly but surely taking over Iraq's security, one city at the time. The latest example is in and around Karbala, at Forward Operating Base Lima, where Coalition forces and the Greater Iraqi Army (and Iraqi police) just held a transfer ceremony Wednesday.
Iraqi security forces took responsibility for Forward Operating Base Lima from U.S. forces Sept. 28.
Iraqi police, army commanders and government representatives, U.S. representatives, including Army Lt. Col. James Oliver, commander of the 1st Battalion, 198th Armored Brigade, attended the ceremony transferring local security responsibilities to the Iraqi police and the 4th Brigade, 8th Division, Greater Iraqi Army.
American troops had been in Karbala since January this year, providing security and infrastructure support.
(American) troops from the 2nd Battalion, 114th Field Artillery, have assisted the people of Karbala since mid-January, providing security and infrastructure support. Approximately 68 projects, totaling $21.5 million, have been completed to improve the city. The projects included water, sanitation, education, electrical, medical and humanitarian aid.
Some of this work is likely to continue, even after the transfer. But this is now the second Iraqi province where security responsibilities were officially handed over to the Iraqi military.
Good news keeps on coming!
In testimony before Congress on Thursday, the senior American military commander in Iraq testified about the readiness of the Greater Iraqi Army battalions:
Gen. George W. Casey Jr., who oversees U.S. forces in Iraq, said there are fewer Iraqi battalions at "Level 1" readiness than there were a few months ago.
(Hat tip to wilsonkolb, in the comments.)
But that does not tell the whole story. According to the Department of Defense:
In May, Iraqi security forces conducted about 160 combined or independent operations at the company level and above, Casey said. By September, that number was up to 1,300.
Some 60,000 to 70,000 more Iraqi security forces will be available to provide security during the Oct. 15 referendum than during the January 2005 elections, he said. And by the time the next elections take place, Jan. 15 , Casey said he expects to have about 100,000 more Iraqi security forces.
The growth is so significant, the general said, that he's had to ask for only 2,000 additional coalition troops to help protect the referendum and election progress this year, compared to 12,000 in January .
But then what about that readiness, you may ask? As RBMN pointed out, according to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, the level of readiness rating keeps on changing depending on a variety of factors.
For example, initial readiness standards two years ago measured numbers of Iraqi troops. Later, those standards were based on the number of trained troops. Later yet, those standards were based on troops who were trained and equipped. As the bar continued to rise, the numbers dipped a bit, giving an impression that readiness was declining, the secretary explained.
If you just look at the raw numbers, it looks like things are getting worse; but in fact, the situation is actually improving. The “bar” rises or lowers as the needs of the situation change, and as we learn more about the sort of urban terrorist war we’re fighting in Iraq.
The number of Iraqi army troops that are considered in a state of “readiness” will certainly fluctuate up and down for the next several months, until the DoD settles on a single metric to use across all troops in the field.
Hatched by Sachi on this day, September 30, 2005, at the time of 5:10 PM
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» Level Up Iraqi Army from Big Lizards
An article Friday on CNN.com falsely implies that the general readiness of Iraqi battalions are dropping: The only Iraqi battalion capable of fighting without U.S. support has been downgraded to a level requiring them to fight with American troops back... [Read More]
Tracked on February 25, 2006 11:54 PM
» The Gatekeeper Effect, or If Iraq Is Getting Better, Why Does the News Keep Getting Worse? from Big Lizards
During the interview with in Jim Lehrer News Hour on PBS, Army Gen. John Abizaid, commander of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), said the situation in Iraq is getting better. But how can that be, when the news reports sectarian violence... [Read More]
Tracked on September 26, 2006 5:32 PM
The following hissed in response by: RBMN
Re: wilsonkolb at September 30, 2005 06:53 PM
> The number of Iraqi army battalions that can
> fight insurgents without U.S. and coalition
> help has dropped from three to one....
That number changes as the acceptable level of causality changes. Maybe that's what changed. Like anything else, you learn to to fight by living through your screw ups, regrouping, and screwing up less the next time.
The following hissed in response by: MICHAEL in MI
"Note: Link and excerpt from the New York Times.
Is this the same New York Times that declared we had lost all hope of rebuilding Japan and Germany and France after WWII and that America's efforts were doomed to fail?
Funny how when I go to places like Arthur Chrenkoff's site detailing all the progress we are making and when I read milblogs passing on the words of soldiers who are actually in the field in Iraq and Afghanistan, that I actually see a different picture than is painted by the New York Times.
Could it be that the people actually over in Iraq know better than the editors and journalists sitting at their desks in New York City, New York? Nah, couldn't be.
The following hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist
Slowly But Surely
First – Please allow humble Low and Ignorant Insane swamp hermit me to Thank Dafydd for removing ‘Dat Serpentine Curse...so to speak whilst bumps of chill still caress my flesh at the mere thought of such a ‘Thang.
After the first Gulf War, America and the United Nations allowed Saddam’s Iraq to basically do as ‘It’ wished...even Violating various so-called terms of Probation for a decade or so whilst America and the United Nations kept adding new UN Security Council Resolutions in order to not be in the position of having to actually enforce each preceding UN Security Council Resolution.
Terrorists and “Supporters of Terrorism” were emboldened by such a foolish policy, and soon after the October 3, 1993 Mogadishu, Somalia ‘iNciDeNt’ (AKA “Black Hawk Down”), both Saddam and Osama claimed that America would never be able to put Troops on foreign soil again. BTW, this was on the heels of the first World Trade Center *ATTACK* back on February 26, 1993.
Apparently, the Leftists of this Planet Earth believed that such enemies as Saddam and Osama could be appeased or “contained” or “talked to” or ignored or whatever they were thinking for almost a decade!?! Even when the World Trade Center and Pentagon were *ATTACKED* on September 11, 2001, many Leftists blamed W or America or even the “Jews”?!?
America is kicking buttocks in this War, and America’s Leftists don’t like seeing such *LEADERSHIP*!!! Fact is, America’s Leftists would rather see W lose this War than to win it, and thus the reason why they side with America’s enemies...so to speak gently.
Wars are not won by allowing the Troops or Citizens to choose which battle should be fought. Wars are won by kicking the enemies’ buttocks until they surrender unconditionally!!! Wars are not won by allowing the Troops or Citizens to choose when or where the next battle is fought. Clearly, Bill Clinton never understood that America was at War, and he is left with trying to find a Legacy that suits him. Good luck, Bill...
i never Voted until 2002, and from what i have seen since, from America’s Leftists, America needs to be pruned.
Life on Earth is a *LOT* like Life in a Prison and/or ‘Da *SWING* of a Pendulum...
The above hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist at October 2, 2005 4:02 PM
The following hissed in response by: Sachi
One comment deleted for violation of comments policy.
The above hissed in response by: Sachi at October 6, 2005 5:42 PM
The following hissed in response by: dongchun
Great blog! I really love how it is easy on my eyes and the information are well written. I am wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your rss feed which really should do the trick! Have a nice day
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