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Surge Successful By Any Measure, Pentagon Official Says

Friday, 25 July 2008
By Jim GaramoneAmerican Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON — The surge in Iraq has been a success by any measure, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said during a news conference July 23.

The policy, announced by President Bush in December 2006, pushed additional brigades in to Iraq to provide a security umbrella so the Iraqi military could build and the country’s government could grow.

The surge has allowed Iraq to make improvements from security, political and economic standpoints, Morrell said. The last of the five surge brigade combat teams recently left Iraq.

“By every metric that we measure violence in Iraq, there has been a dramatic improvement from where things were before the surge,” Morrell said. “I'll just point to one, and that is [that] in July of last year, we had 79 U.S. [servicemembers killed in action] in Iraq. We have four thus far this month.”

The dramatic security gains have provided room for political and economic successes. “You name it, it is happening in Iraq,” Morrell said. “Do you want to talk about political gains? We've had basically all the major benchmark legislation passed.”

The Sunni bloc has returned to the government, 10 of 18 Iraqi provinces are under local control, and Najaf International Airport has reopened. “You see a $300 million luxury hotel opening up in the Green Zone [and] $50 million in refurbishment of the airport road,” Morrell said. “There's economic investment, and there's political progress. There's increased security. All those things are undeniable, and they are attributable to the fact that we plussed up forces in there.”

There were, of course, other factors at work in the security improvement, Morrell said, but the surge and the change in U.S. counterinsurgency strategy made all else possible. The “Anbar Awakening” that allied formerly insurgent Sunni Muslims with the coalition and influential Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr’s cease-fire were other factors, he said, but he noted they didn’t happen independently of other events.

“If we think that Sadr acted in a vacuum, I think we're kidding ourselves,” Morrell said. “There clearly was political and military pressure which caused him to make a decision to have his troops stand down.

“But we benefitted from it, no doubt,” he continued. “There's no question that the awakening in Anbar, the cease-fire by Sadr, simultaneous to the surge, has helped the overall security situation in Iraq.”

Re: Surge Successful By Any Measure, Pentagon Official Says

Yea the surge was the eight woder of the world. Acoomplish the mission and look out for the welfare of your troops Or is it accomplish the mission and sreww your troops. It was great that our troops came homee and was not with their families for a good eight months and had to prepare to go back for the surge. My kids still suffer from separation anxiety. and I still suffer from PTSD. No wonder the suicide rate is so high. But the surg was suppose to be a success. Tell me that 10 or 15 years from now, When or ttroops really start feeling the effects of the great surge.

Re: Surge Successful By Any Measure, Pentagon Official Says

And goodness knows, the Pentagon would never, ever, spin events to make themselves look better - would they? Certainly, they never did anything like that during our war - right?

The Sunni Tribal leaders got tired of being killed by Al-Queda and swung over to our side nearly a year before the Surge ever started. Sadr agreed to go home and sit on his hands. And has anyone at all heard of the Badr brigade lately?

Iraq settled down - as much as it can be said to have settled down - because the Iraqis wanted it to. Did the extra U.S. troops help? Sure, but pretending, as John McCain is now, that sending a handful of American troops has "won the war" is plain our B.S.

Sadr still has his army, fully armed and in place. The Badr Brigade is still out there somewhere-also fully armed. And the Sunnis can and will go violent again if the Shia start moving against them the way they were earlier. And the Kurds have pretty much built themselves their own separate country.

The right answer to this issue is the same that it has always been - the Iraqis need to take care of Iraq.

Re: Surge Successful By Any Measure, Pentagon Official Says

jack B you say the sunnis in anbar province swung over to OUR side. The way you talk your side (our side ) cant be the american side. You have never been on the side of the Unites states and the american soldier..