February 28, 2008: Remember Iraq ?  You know, the war we lost?  The big failure we were wasting our lives and “treasure” on?  Yeah, that one.  Haven’t heard much about it lately, right? That’s because Iraq has disappeared off the international radar, and for good reasons.  Enemy activity levels are at the lowest levels in years.  The Iraqi Police and military is growing in leaps and bounds.  Half of the country has been turned back over to Iraqi control and next month, Anbar Province will become the tenth province turned over.  So what has been going on there anyway?

Politically, the Iraqi Parliament has been passing landmark legislation on Baathist (Sunni Arab) reconciliation, oil revenues, and provincial elections.  They even passed a budget.  Numerous political parties have come together and compromised to move the country further.  The economy continues to grow and the people are prospering.

What was once the resistance has woken up and become the Sahawa Movement or the “Awakening”.  They became Concerned Local Citizens (CLCs), now Sons of Iraq (SoI).  They number over 80,000 today and approximately one quarter will go on to join the Iraqi Police or Army.  Other members will work in the public sector.  Others will go back to work.   

In 2007, Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) lost 75 percent of its members and now numbers in the thousands.  As the tables turned in 2007, members of AQI switched sides and have begun providing intelligence to Coalition Forces.  What was once a larger organization almost able to bring the nation into a civil war, is now a collection of networks hunted constantly by Coalition Forces and the Iraqis themselves.  AQI looses key leadership on an almost daily basis.  The group has moved northward or is hiding in rural areas.  AQI is not eliminated yet and is still able to attack, but is not what it once was.

Back in August, Shia radical Muqtada al Sadr called a six-month ceasefire for the Mahdi Army (Jaysh al Mahdi or JAM).  Recently, the call was renewed despite cries within the organization to resume militia activity.  What was once a massive organization estimated at 40,000 strong is splintered and has remained inactive for over six months.  One of the splinters is the Special Groups, who were backed by Iran with money, training, and weapons.  Special Groups have also lost key leadership and are most active in one neighborhood in north Baghdad .

The idea of Kurdish separatism was dropped with the Turkish pursuit of the Kurdish Worker’s Party (PKK) in northern Iraq .  Iraqi Kurds evaluated their situation in Iraq and their relationship with Turkey and took sides against the PKK.  The PKK has lost hundreds of fighters and facilities.  They took a gamble and lost.

Iraq has not reached its ideal end state yet.  It will take more time to eliminate AQI and Special Groups from the country and spread stability to all corners of the country.  Events in Iraq have been eclipsed by incidents in Pakistan , North Africa, and Lebanon .  Events elsewhere have become more pivotal in the Global War on Terrorism. — Jonathan Henry  jhenry@osianintel.com

Comments

  1. Sounds good to me. If things are that much better then we can bring our military home and stop sinking money and lives into that country. I bet $2+ billion a week would go A LONG way in helping the economy here.
    But your blog is a huge blow to McCain’s plan of being there for another 100 years.

  2. Gee Maj – looks like Julie just can’t handle the truth.
    You Rock, Buddy. Keep the NSN coming, and stay safe out there.

  3. MAJ,
    Good rundown. I think the old adage hold true: No News is Good News. Events in Pakistan are certainly troubling, but Iraq has definitely gotten better as you have illustrated above.
    V/R LT N

  4. thanks skipper..when MSM quit publishing bad news from Iraq I knew we were winning and Iraq would probably make it..and as long as we do what has to be done to win I support it.

  5. Great article, Maj P! Jonathan Henry certainly can write.
    Kinda makes me sad tho that you never had an “Operation Monkey Stomp”. Maybe in Somalia?
    Just kidding all you leftist weeners!

  6. Hey, Maj! Good to see a post. Although the MSM seems to have forgotten, we haven’t. We’re still hanging around reading the NSN on every Milblog that posts it. Take care, Sir!

  7. Hey Julie
    I can back up Pains facts you stupid bitch. In fact I can show you that 65 percent of America supports the war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan. We can win. What money are you talking about? We have a deficit thanks to liberals. If you stupid liberals want to give up war secrets I will be glad to counter you. Do not think I can’t do it. What I will give is secrets of Liberals who have tried to affect our security. I have proof and the backing of the Military and FBI. Fuck State and CIA.

  8. major,what is the problm with the current leadership of the marine crps. My nephew who wil remain nameless is refusing a $50,000 bonus, a stripe,(sgt.)and most of his company are walking. The morale of the 3rd battalion, 1st div. is horribe. Most of the troops have served at least 2 tours in Iraq. They destroyed everthing in western Iraq,(isn’t that what they are traine for?) and some were decorated for valor and bravery, my nephew was one of them He watched his comrades in combat repremanded, court martialed and denegrated.Pleasae help me and the corps. I really don’t want to hear the usual command line of b… S… I woulke the truth.
    I am an ex paratrooper with the 101st airborne diviion from the Korean Conflict ,

  9. major,what is the problm with the current leadership of the marine crps. My nephew who wil remain nameless is refusing a $50,000 bonus, a stripe,(sgt.)and most of his company are walking. The morale of the 3rd battalion, 1st div. is horribe. Most of the troops have served at least 2 tours in Iraq. They destroyed everthing in western Iraq,(isn’t that what they are traine for?) and some were decorated for valor and bravery, my nephew was one of them He watched his comrades in combat repremanded, court martialed and denegrated.Pleasae help me and the corps. I really don’t want to hear the usual command line of b… S… I woulke the truth.
    I am an ex paratrooper with the 101st airborne diviion from the Korean Conflict ,

  10. Being pissed off at command and some of the crap that goes on is normal for anyone in the military but it goes on in any job occupation. Those men who look at their job as being Knights trying to defend the helpless will be happy in life. Those who are doing it for a paycheck will not. Perhaps some work at an orphanage where the childrens parents were murdered by madmen, would change prioritys.

  11. I would suggest that some people in the military have polictcal agenda’s that if we fail in Iraq, they will win. So sabatoge of troops would be to their benefit. I give you John Kerry as a case in point.

  12. Here’s a comment from another chick named Julie, except I’m a smart Julie. Gad…her stupid ass comment makes me want to vomit and then change my name.
    The U.S. military rocks. You are awesome. I am so humbled to even be looking at your website. Please don’t ever think that the American public has forgotten you, because we have not. I appreciate you so much and all that you have sacrificed. Words just are not sufficient to describe the appreciation I have for you and your families.
    Don’t let the mindless lemmings who spew the liberal media crap get you down. Normal people don’t feel the way they do. Thank you so much. -Cool (and cute) Julie

  13. Its great to hear some good comments coming for a change in the results of a changing Iraq. I believe that over time Iraq will change for the good, the young will see how some western things are good and not bad. It seems that liberals like to say things are going bad when loses were high, then changed to “we are spending too much money” when the surge showed signs of working. Keep up the good work. It was my pleasue to have been attached to the 1st Marine Division during my time in Iraq. “No better friend, no worse enemy.”
    Semper Fi

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