Steady Progress in Iraq
The road is steep, but turning back now means quitting and Americans are not quitters (at least half of them anyway).
According to US Army Major Gen. William B. Caldwell, encouraging signs of progress are beginning to show due to participation of the Iraqi public in the fight against al-Qaeda.
“Successful tribal engagement has brought a dramatic rise in recruitment for both the Iraqi Army and the Iraqi Police,” said Caldwell.
The Iraqi population is strategically important for Coalition forces for their knowledge of enemy locations, ability to identify the enemy and their example to other Iraqi citizens.
“The Iraqi police and provincial security forces’ familiarity with the local neighborhoods are critical for ridding al-Qaeda block by block,” said Caldwell.
“This is progress, but it is also just the beginning,” he said. “So much more needs to be done.”
As the Iraqi population and security forces steadily work with local neighborhoods to fight terror, Coalition Airmen and other teams utilize the information gathered to hunt terrorists from the sky.
“We carry the equivalent of the support necessary for the Normandy invasion on a daily basis here,” said Edgington. “We transport 3,000 troops on average both into, out-of and intra-theater.”
Not only does the ACCE transport troops to where they are needed, but they also provide unmanned aircraft and space technology for reconnaissance and surveillance on the enemy.
“While these [Iraqi] security forces remain dependent on Coalition force support, they are steadily improving both their professionalism and capabilities,” said Caldwell. “The most vital element is the people themselves.”
“Together, they, along with Iraqi and Coalition security forces, are making progress,” he said.LINK
WASHINGTON, May 10, 2007 – U.S. forces are continuing to see improvements in the abilities of the Iraqi security forces they are training, the commander of the Iraqi Assistance Group today told representatives of veterans service organizations during a conference call from Iraq.
“From the streets of Baghdad to the Iranian border, transition teams are providing high-quality advice and assistance to Iraq security force units,” said Army Brig. Gen. Dana Pittard, commander of the Iraq Assistance Group in charge of helping Iraqi military, police and border enforcement officials.
Pittard said his troops are working directly with Iraqi leaders from a variety of units to advise them in real-time scenarios and tactical operations. They also are assisting with the organization’s staffing and unit structures.
To help make Iraqi forces more effective, Pittard’s group serves as the key link between Multinational Corps Iraq, which commands operations in the country, and Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq, which equips, mans and trains Iraqi security forces.
During the conference call, Pittard said he travels almost daily to engage with Iraqi leaders, noncommissioned officers and units who are making great strides in security enforcement throughout Iraq.
“I feel like I’ve been witnessing history in the making,” Pittard said. “I’ve watched very courageous Iraqi leaders make tough decisions and work hard to develop units capable of defending their homeland.”