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Monday, August 06, 2007

"This is a tectonic shift in what's happening in Iraq,", says General

The last line of an article I just read is what I head lined with because in a very real way it is what the whole piece represents.

It is additional good news from Iraq from USA Today:

The U.S. strategy to build alliances with mostly Sunni tribal and local leaders has prompted 25,000 of their followers to turn away from the insurgency and at least nominally align with Iraq's Shiite-led government in the fight against al-Qaeda.

The number, from the U.S. command in Iraq, represents the first stab at measuring the effectiveness of the tribal strategy. The trend is likely to be a critical part of a report due in September to Congress and the White House by the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus.

"I think it is the most significant thing that's happened in the past couple years," said Marine Maj. Gen. Mastin Robeson, deputy chief of staff for strategy and plans for Multi-National Force-Iraq. "They actually have come to us saying, 'We want to join you, we want to fight al-Qaeda.' "

Iraq's Shiite-dominated central government has taken almost no legislative action to resolve differences with minority Sunnis and broaden support for the government. The U.S. military's tribal strategy is an effort to build links with groups, many of them armed, at the local level and tap into their hostility toward al-Qaeda.

The strategy was initially aimed at Sunnis, which have made up the bulk of the insurgency against U.S. troops and the Iraqi government. Its goal was to separate former members of Saddam Hussein's ruling Baath Party and other "nationalist" insurgents from more extremist al-Qaeda militants who want to impose a strict form of Islamic law and form a government stretching across the entire Muslim world.

More recently, the U.S. strategy has broadened to include local Shiite leaders opposing extremist militias. Petraeus and other top commanders have cited alliances with tribal and other local leaders as an important sign of progress. "What we're starting to realize more and more is that reconciliation at the bottom may be the more important element in the short term," Petraeus said recently.

Alliances with local fighters are not among the 18 benchmarks established by Congress to measure the effectiveness of a troop increase that bumped the U.S. military presence in Iraq from about 130,000 to 160,000 this year.

Andrew Krepinevich, a counterinsurgency expert at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, said the tribal and local alliances are a good idea — but one with risks.

Tribal loyalty could be fleeting. Many tribes don't share democratic values or have much sympathy for Iraq's central government. "This is an alliance of convenience," Krepinevich said. "It's not necessarily an alliance of convictions."

Tribes are groups of people who are loosely linked through blood ties. In parts of Iraq, particularly rural Sunni areas, tribal leaders are powerful figures. Some Iraqis place tribal ties above national identity.

Some tribes turned on al-Qaeda and worked with U.S. forces last year in Anbar province, west of the capital.

The U.S. military, working with the Iraqi government, has tried to spread the movement throughout Iraq.

Read it all, there are risks, but the positive developments are outweighing those risks.

Get them all fighting on the same side and political reconciliation might very well follow.

But this isn't the only good news coming from Iraq, there is much more.

We find that an Air strike kills mastermind behind Iraqi Golden Mosque bombings,the Army engineers near 4,000 complete Iraqi projects, the Tribal Leaders continue reconciliation efforts across Diyala,we also find that IA, Stryker leaders assess progress in Baqubah, and we see economic progress continuing.

This is only a partial list of the daily stories coming out of Iraq.

The we have some of their featured stories which include but are not limited to:

Iraqi citizen leading U.S. Soldiers to weapons caches, Iraqi police recruitment efforts, Iraqi Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit progressing quickly, Business Leaders meet to help Iraqi Banking System get back on track.

Again, that is just a small sample. With the good news that IS being reported, finally, from our MSM, this is still news that they are ignoring.

You can obtain all of this for yourselves here.

Perhaps many are already starting to look and find the news for themselves instead of relying on the traditional media to tell us only what they want to or are being forced to, and parhaps that is why the American public is finally starting to come around and the numbers are rising in support of VICTORY in Iraq.

Who knows the exact reason, but whatever it is, news like these stories are good to know about and I thank Operation Iraqi Freedom for making this all availableto us.

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