T Nation

Surge Working In Anbar



You really have to read the whole thing and look at the pictures. Then come back and tell me how the surge is not working.


They call the Anbar Awakening for a reason. It's got nothing to do with the level of US troops whatsover. It's the Sunni tribes banding together to take control of their country.

Now, the US is giving out weapons to the very same people who were shooting at them earlier.


The US is not leaving Iraq.


Right On!


There are less bad people in Anbar to kill. Yay.


Yes, it looks like sunni and shia are finally coming togeather and at long last we'll have political progress...Oh, wait that's not happening and that was the point of the surge. Also this progress began before the surge and has factually little to with the surge:

"More striking was the emerging shift in Anbar; al-Qaeda and Sunni insurgents had grown so dominant in the western province that military intelligence had all but given up on the area months earlier. Bush benefited from good timing. As he introduced his new strategy, Marine commanders had already made common cause with local Sunni tribal leaders who had broken with the Sunni insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq, also called AQI.

Why the sheiks turned remains a point of debate, but it seems clear that the tribes resented al-Qaeda's efforts to ban smoking and marry local women to build ties to the region. "Marrying women to strangers, let alone foreigners, is just not done," Australian Lt. Col. David Kilcullen, a Petraeus adviser, wrote in an essay.

The sheik who forged the alliance with the Americans, Abdul Sattar Buzaigh al-Rishawi, traced the decision to fight al-Qaeda to Sept. 14, 2006, long before the new Bush strategy, but the president's plan dispatched another 4,000 U.S. troops to Anbar to exploit the situation. As security improved, the White House eagerly took credit"


And of course any evidence that the surge isn't working only means that IT MUST BE WORKING in wingnuttia, fortunatey only a small fringe of the population believes this, unfortunately they seem to be the mainstream here?


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Spin baby! Spin!!!!


The US is doing much/most of the fighting. Working with reasonable militia instead of against them is part of Petraeus' plan. Your effort to minimize our success is ludicrous.

The respect our troops are earning from Iraqis is enormous.


Too bad it is clearly working. Americans can walk around w/out body armor in the area. The efforts to spin the story otherwise is pathetic. You should be ashamed of yourself.


Then why are they not still shooting at the Americans?

The Sunni tribes see that peace with America is a better option than peace with Al-Qaeda.

If the US leaves, Al-Qaeda and Al-Sadr will be in charge. Would you want to live there?



Iraq violence lowest since '06 mosque attack: U.S. By Paul Tait
2 hours, 28 minutes ago

Violence in Iraq has fallen to its lowest level since before a 2006 mosque attack which unleashed the deadliest phase of the Iraq war, the deputy commander of U.S. forces in Iraq said on Thursday.

Lieutenant-General Raymond Odierno said attacks in Baghdad had also fallen by half since January, just before Washington began pouring 30,000 extra troops into Iraq to try to drag the nation back from the brink of sectarian civil war.

"There are still way too many civilian casualties inside of Baghdad and Iraq," Odierno said, after telling a news conference the number of sectarian killings in the capital had fallen from an average of about 32 a day to 12 a day this year.

U.S. forces launched a crackdown in Baghdad in February that spread to other provinces, targeting Sunni Islamist al Qaeda and other Sunni Arab insurgents as well as Shi'ite militias.

"Al Qaeda in Iraq is increasingly being pushed out of Baghdad and the surrounding areas. They are now seeking refuge elsewhere in the country and even fleeing Iraq," Odierno said.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki this month said his government had averted civil war and that levels of violence in Baghdad and surrounding areas had fallen 75 percent this year.

And on Thursday, President George W. Bush defended plans to withdraw about 20,000 U.S. troops by July, saying: "Progress will yield fewer troops."

Al Qaeda, however, has vowed to step up attacks during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.

Odierno said there had been no sign of any reprisal attacks so far since a separate Baghdad shooting on Sunday involving U.S. security firm Blackwater in which 11 people were killed.

U.S. and Iraqi officials have launched a joint inquiry into the incident, with Maliki's government announcing it had halted the work of Blackwater, which guards U.S. embassy officials, and would review all local and foreign security firms.

U.S. embassy spokeswoman Mirembe Nantongo said Blackwater was still contracted to the State Department but had not done any work since a ban on U.S. diplomatic convoys leaving Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone was imposed on Tuesday.

In Iraq's north, the U.S. military said it had arrested an Iranian man it accused of being a member of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards Quds force who had smuggled deadly roadside bombs into Iraq.

Iran said the man, detained during an early-morning raid on a hotel in Sulaimaniya in autonomous Kurdistan, was a businessman. Kurdistan and Iraqi government officials said he was a member of a trade delegation.

Old foes Tehran and Washington accuse each other of being responsible for Iraq's violence.


The bombing of the golden-domed al-Askari mosque, one of Iraq's four holiest Shi'ite shrines, in mainly Sunni Arab Samarra in February 2006 sparked the deadliest phase of violence since the U.S.-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Sectarian violence had been on the rise, but the bombing changed the focus from a Sunni Arab insurgency against U.S. and Iraqi forces into a spate of revenge sectarian attacks in which tens of thousands of Iraqis died and many more fled their homes.

Odierno said U.S. and Iraqi forces had been keeping al Qaeda and other militant groups "off balance" by targeting their leadership as they push out of large bases into smaller combat outposts and joint command centers.

He said 60 percent more weapons caches had been discovered in the first nine months of 2007 than in all of 2006, leading to a decrease in attacks by improvised explosive devices.

The security crackdown was seen by Washington as an attempt to buy time for Iraq's fractured government to reach benchmarks aimed at reconciling majority Shi'ites and minority Sunni Arabs.

Maliki's Shi'ite-led coalition has been paralyzed by infighting and the withdrawal of about a dozen ministers from cabinet, but a senior lawmaker said there were no plans for a no-confidence vote against Maliki's 16-month-old administration.

Deputy speaker Khaled al-Attiya also told Reuters that much-delayed legislation on a crucial oil law that will regulate how wealth from the world's third-largest oil reserves will be shared would be debated in parliament in October.


Factually, this thread is spin (Hint: the title says "surge working in Anbar"). It's not unsimilar to other spun threads like "winning in Iraq" etc. which in themselves are an extension of the ol' "turning the corner in Iraq" type threads usually started by the far-far-far-right fringe like JeffR and Headhunter.


You're deliberately missing the point of course that the "success" is that sunnis in anbar are working with us, but that's a strategic decision on the sunnis part that was nothing to do with the surge.


What is working? It's not spin to say Sunnis in Anbar decided to work with americans. That just happened in this thing called "reality". You do understand the concept of time and before and after, etc. right?


Are the sunnis making "strategic decisions" in a vacuum? How on earth could their decisions have nothing to do with the surge? The surge was a long time in coming. The sunnis simply saw that their future law with american troops and some sort of rough federalism - and not with the bloody chaos and warfare of al qaeda/insurgents.


Tell me at what point things weren't getting better in Iraq according to this administration? Things have been looking good since day one! It's never been going bad, it's all been a liberal conspiracy!


Spike your game


I'm not minimizing anything. I'm giving you the analysis which every independent journalist and analyst not-associated-with-the-Pentagon is gonna tell you. It's not part f some conspiracy to undermine Petraeus' efforts. It's merely the truth as seen without the "All hail Bush" distorting lens.


Because now they're collecting weapons paid for by your tax-money. It won't last forever though...

You found that on your own genius?


It doesn't matter what I want, and neither should your president's "vision" of Iraq matter. Iraq belongs to Iraqis and they get to decide who's in charge. Judging by the enormous populous support behind Al-Sadr, I'll say that you're actively undermining democracy there.


Factually, the title is accurate. The surge IS working in Anbar according to the people in Anbar. It seems the only ones that doubt it are the Democrats.