20 July 2006

Winning in Iraq - Measuring Victory

(Part 4 of 5 addressing the misconception that we're losing the war in Iraq)

Now that victory has been defined, how are we achieving it?
  • On January 30, 2005, millions of Iraqis participated in their first free election, defying the threats of insurgents who sought to deny them their opportunity for democracy.

  • A constitutional referendum was held on October 15, 2005, with an 81% increase in voter turnout reported in Sunni majority provinces.

  • On December 15, 2005, roughly 12.4 million Iraqi voters went to the polls to elect a Council of Representatives. That's a voter turnout of over 79% in spite of the the threat of terrorist attack. Compare that to the 50% voter turnout in the last US presidential election where the biggest threat was a paper cut. Did you vote? I did.

  • Currently, over 268,000 Iraqi security forces have been trained and equipped.

  • Three divisions,18 brigades, and 71 battalions of the ISF now have lead security responsibility in their respective areas of operation. The ISF have security responsibility for 60 percent of Baghdad and for 30,000 square miles of the country. As of June 26, the MOD, MOI, or the Ministry of Finance has assumed control of 41 Forward Operating Bases from Coalition forces.

  • Security responsibility for the entire province of Muthanna, Iraq's second largest, has been transferred to Iraqi control.

  • As a result of intelligence captured after killing al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi much of his organization's senior leadership has been killed or captured.

  • The final cabinet positions for the Government of Iraq have been filled.

  • Currently, terrorist groups are negotiating for reconciliation with the democratically elected and constitutionally based Iraqi government.

  • Two thirds of Iraqis think that Iraqi Security Forces are beating terrorism.

  • According to a poll conducted in December, over 70 percent of Iraqis surveyed oppose the immediate withdrawal of American troops.

  • USAID is providing support to the Ministry of Trade to deliver more than 480,000 tons of food each month.

  • Over 4600 schools have been renovated, over 60,000 secondary school teachers have been trained and more than 8.7 million new school books have been distributed.

  • Health care funding has increased 30-fold since Iraq was freed from Saddam Hussein.

  • USAID has immunized 98 percent of children under 5 years old against measles, mumps, and rubella and 97 percent of children under 5 against polio.

  • Over 1,200 primary health clinics and 240 Iraqi hospitals are in operation.

  • 3.7 million more Iraqis have access to fresh water

  • 5.1 million more Iraqis have access to sewage treatment

  • The Iraqi dinar has maintained its value with only a 1% variation over the last year.

  • Oil production has exceeded pre-war levels by 15%

This is a short list of the strategic victory milestones that we've achieved here in Iraq. But since we're supposed to be losing this war, let's go over the list of strategic victory milestones that the terrorists have achieved:

  • According to polling data from the Pew Institute, less than half of the American public thinks that the Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces are winning the war.

The good news is that they are beginning to lose on this front as well. Don't take my word for it, listen to what Zarqawi himself had to say about it. In a letter that was captured after Zarqawi was killed, he details how the Coalition and Iraqi Government are beating him, he goes on to talk about what the terrorists need to do to fight back. The very first thing on the top of his list?

"To use the media for spreading an effective and creative image of the resistance."

Let's continue to examine the rest of Zarqawi's comments in this letter, specifically the points he makes about how the Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces are winning. Consider this Zarqawi's list of our accomplishments in Iraq. For the sake of brevity I'll paraphrase, but if you'd like to see the whole letter for yourself you can do so here.

  • The training and operational success of the Iraqi Security Forces

  • Coalition combat operations that capture/kill anti-Iraqi forces.

  • Increasing popular support for the new Government of Iraq.

  • Restricting terrorist's finances.

  • Creating division between terrorist groups.

  • Taking advantage of anti-Iraqi forces mistakes and showing them publicly. (An obvious reference to the video of him that was captured showing him unable to operate a US machine gun.)

Zarqawi went on to say that the situation is "bleak" and and is a "crisis". If the individual who was formerly the head of the largest terrorist organization in Iraq thinks that we're winning, why don't more Americans?

9 Comments:

Anonymous dj elliott said...

"Three divisions,18 brigades, and 71 battalions of the ISF now have lead security responsibility in their respective areas of operation."

Those numbers are as of 26 Jun 2006 (per Maj Willhoite/124th CPIC). Since then:
- on 2 Jul: 2-5 IA Bde TOA
- on 3 Jul: 5th IA Div TOA
- on 13 Jul: 2-10 IA Bde TOA
- I have noted 6 IA Bn TOAs since 26 Jun (incl 3 in Mosul area) and may have missed some...

(4 Divs/20 Bdes/77(+) Bns)

12:12  
Blogger Louise said...

Wow, Bandit. This one is a zinger. If that doesn't put the mythmakers in their place, then they are a lost cause. Any reasonable person can see you have made the point. (Of course, reasonable people and the mythmakers are two mutually exclusive groups.)

Well done!

15:31  
Blogger andrea/pj's said...

that was some list Zarq.
had....

17:51  
Blogger Matthias said...

Thanks man... I'm actually slotted to deploy in sept. so its good to hear all the good news coming out of there. I'm glad people like you are out there to put out the good stuff.

20:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bandit, this is remarkable stuff. Was "blog surfing" a short time ago and saw your link on quite a few other sites. Certainly yours is a superior source of information and news. Hope to continue reading your blog. It one of the better sources of news, among many. Stay safe and may the Lord bless you and yours.

20:24  
Anonymous Anna said...

Another great post, Bandit! Keep up the excellent work and stay safe! We are praying for you!

21:56  
Blogger andrea/pj's said...

hey bandit,thanks for
the reminder at the bottom
of the post page..
i am sorry i fed one last
night..just a mum protecting
her young;)
i have been pretty good
over at Omar's place not to
do it there either...
u should have seen me there
in 2004..i was slamming them
left and right..until i looked
up what a troll meant..
and hey,who one the soccer game?

01:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bandit-have you had the chance to read some Iraqi blogs?

05:22  
Blogger bandit.three.six said...

Anonymous,

Yes I have. I read Iraq the Model and Days of My Life, both run by Iraqis.

08:53  

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