30 October 2006

One Day Closer

Well, I'm no longer accountable for any property here in Baghdad. At least none that I signed for while I was here. It's a good day when your replacement can sign what used to be your property book and everything is accounted for.

Inventories are the bane of just about everyone in the military. I hesitate to say everyone because somewhere out there is a masochist who just loves to crawl through dusty storage closets and squint his beady little eyes to read serial numbers on widgets just so that he can get another bullet on his evaluation. I, however, am not one of these creatures, but I do make a concerted effort to do a good job because if I don't I could go to jail.

There are some pieces of equipment that if lost through my negligence I could become a guest of the federal government at sunny Ft. Leavenworth where I would get to make big rocks into little rocks for a number of years. I keep this cheery thought in the front of my mind whenever it comes time to do inventories and it does a lot to motivate me to do a good job. On the other end of the spectrum, there are some things that if lost I would simply have to fork over the money to replace them. While this isn't as motivating as not going to a federal "pound-me-in-the-_ _ _" penatentary, I'd still rather not have to spend the money.

For this inventory, not only did I not lose any equipment, but neither did any of my Soldiers. None of us have to pay for new equipment and none of us will become Bubba's special lady. That makes me happy.

In much more significant news ... when was the last time you heard a civilian body count? I sure haven't been hearing those headlines of "Hundreds die every day in Baghdad" like I used to. Could that maybe be because civilians aren't being killed by the hundreds? ... curious

Maybe it has something to do with the Iraqi Security Forces. Listen to what MG Caldwell had to say about them:

In total today, there are six of 10 Iraqi army divisions in the lead, 30 of 36 Iraqi brigades, and 90 of 112 Iraqi battalions in the lead. And we operate in support of them. All across Iraq, we continue to see an increasingly capable Iraqi security force continuing to take the lead. [And let's not forget two whole provinces!]

There have been isolated clashes recently in locations around Iraq between the militias and government of Iraq forces, such as in Amarah, Diwaniyah. We've seen sectarian violence in Balad and Saba al-Bor, primarily between Sunni and Shi'a. These clashes have garnered sensational headlines, however, they are not clashes that had uncontrolled continued violence. What we saw, to the credit of Iraqi security forces and local leaders, was some action. In each case, Iraqi security forces, acting on their own, played a critical role in quelling the violence within days. Local leaders, both political and religious, in coordination with Iraqi security forces, came together to take action necessary to prevent the violence from spiraling out of control.

So what we see in actions taking place all over Iraq is that Iraqis are taking charge of their country, and they're doing it valiantly. Violence will flare up again in areas that are under Iraqi control. The question will be, can they handle these situations themselves? In all these incidents they did; they responded and they returned calm to the areas. The Iraqis brought an Iraqi solution to an Iraqi problem, which is precisely the strategy for Iraq.

Yeah ... it's quite the quagmire here. Ya know, I don't claim that the strategy or our execution of it is perfect, but what I do claim is that it is working. People portray things as lost and beyond control, that everything we're doing is 180 degress off course in order to further their agenda, whatever it may be. These people are wrong. There may be a better way to win this war, but this is the way we're doing it and we are winning.


Anonymous DJ Elliott said...

- You missed a piece of good news:

ISF Standing Up In Ninewa
via BlackAnthem

Blackanthem Military News, MOSUL, Iraq – An Iraqi army division took over responsibility for the security of Tal Afar from coalition forces Oct. 20, bringing Iraq one step closer to full self-sufficiency.

The 2nd Brigade, 3rd Iraqi Army Division along with Iraqi police will now have the responsibility for the safety of Tal Afar citizens.

The transfer of authority ceremony held at Tal Afar castle also marked the departure from the city of the 2nd Battalion, 37th Armor Regiment, leaving only one U.S. Army battalion in the area so that Iraqi Security Forces can truly be in command of Tal Afar.
posted by Soldier's Dad at 9:48 AM Comments (3) | Trackback links to this post

- Removes 1 US Bn from the AO and puts an IA Bde in-charge.

Blogger dcat said...

Good to see you are ok Bandit! Thank you for all the information you can get.

Blogger John D Infidel said...

Hey Bandit36,
Dig your blog, man! Hope you keep blogging when you're stateside.
There was a research paper published by the Lancet (John Hopkins U.) saying that over 600,000 civilians have died since and due to the war. I believe they cooked their numbers. Check out Iraq the Model for alot of talk about this.
Hope you don't mind but I posted the video of the Army Strong ad you posted on YouTube.

Anonymous Solo said...

I'm not sure what it's going to take to stop the secular violence. I guess the ones involved are going to have to be convinced they are playing right into al Qaedas hands by doing this.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

B36, i will surly miss the good news you tell us about, this morning as usual there was good morning america with the sameold thing " we begin today with a grim milestone in Iraq" I am so sick of hearing that, just once lets hear the msm say "we begin with good news from Iraq" i mean I was hearing a general somewhere that our soldiers have not lost a single battle and the very next day in the newspaper, it is practially gleeful saying that US and Iraqi forces did not get the supected bad guy they wrer looking for in such and such raid, but they killed a bunch of other people during the raid. i cant wait till the elections when the freaking donkys and their friends get another sound defeat,i am waitning till the real election day, i hope lots and lots of us who the medis asya (are Christians who will sit this one out, bla bla bal, i hope and pray, with confidence that the "silent majority" will once again show the power of the Right, and i don't mean the right politically, i mean the right thing to do...I know that the papers and the media will not suddenly say they were wrong or suddenly begin supporting the fighting men and women, the President and the Country, but i can dream......

Anonymous Leta said...

Bandit - I couldn't be more happy for you that your time is winding down. Your postings have been some of the best I've read and I will miss them but realize you have EARNED quiet time at home with your wife and that little one. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! for all that you have done and continue to do in service for our country and this crazy world.

Keep us posted once you are back in Germany and have some time to relax with the family!

Again, THANKS!

Blogger Robert F. Griffing said...

The return to home base is getting closer by the day! Thanks for what you and your whole team have done in service of our country!

BTW: You probably heard of Sen. Kerry's insult of servicepeople in Iraq. I found it easy to post an email to him and tell him off. He's a disgrace!

Anonymous Solo said...

I get to ride motorcycle escort for some troops coming home today Bandit. Sure wish I could be there to ride for yours.

Anonymous opinionsarefree said...

How do you still manage to type when you can no longer see over the tops of your boots?

Anonymous Heavy Equipment Parts said...

Hey guys!
i just started blogging not that long ago and running across this blog it seemed a bit too interesting to only read the first paragraph. Please, who ever wrote this, keep me updated!


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