Friday, January 11, 2008

Anbar Province To Be Returned To Iraqi Control

Just about a year and a half ago Anbar Province was regarded as a lost cause. Al-Qaeda and their Sunni insurgent brethren were so deeply ensconced there was no way the US could regain control according to a report by Col. Devlin USMC as reported on NPR. It caused quite a stir at the time.

After this report President Bush announced the surge just under a year ago and we had the Anbar Awakening, and today the military has announced they are returning control of Anbar Province in March.

Maj Gen Walter Gaskin of the US Marines said a fall in violence had paved the way for handing Anbar to Iraqi control.

In Washington, the visiting Iraqi defence minister said Iraqi forces may be ready to take responsibility for all remaining areas of the country by 2009.

Nine of 18 Iraqi provinces remain to be handed over to Iraqi control.


The western province of Anbar was once the base of the Sunni Arab insurgency in Iraq but it has witnessed a turnaround in the last 18 months.

Security improvements have been credited to the flourishing of Sunni tribal neighbourhood militias, some including former insurgents, which have teamed up with US forces to fight al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Analysts say President George W Bush's surge strategy of injecting an extra 30,000 US troops into Iraq last year has also helped reduce violence.

But instead of greeting this as development as good news Nancy Pelosi has once again declared the surge a failure:

“One year ago, the President announced his plan to send thousands of additional U.S. troops to Iraq. Despite the bravery of our men and women in uniform, the primary purpose of the President’s surge policy has not been achieved: the Iraqi government is nowhere near political reconciliation that would contribute to regional stability.

“Despite repeated calls from the vast majority of the American people, the President continues on a course for a 10-year, $2 trillion war in Iraq. After more than five years, far too many lives lost, billions of dollars spent, and our military readiness dangerously reduced, it is past time for the President to bring an end to this tragic war.

“The New Direction Congress remains ready to work with President Bush to find a responsible end to this war before the end of his presidency.”


Maybe it's just me but I am thinking the Democrats might want to get on the right side of history on this.

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