Since the White House isn't conducting some FDR "fire side" chats to explain to the American public our current clear and hold security plan being conducted in Iraq by General Patraeus and our fine soldiers(Iraqi security forces as well), I guess we've got to depend on various segments of the press. One individual who seems to explain the seemingly successful application of such policies in less than a thousand words is former Lt. Colonel Gordon Cucullu, a Green Beret at that, who penned a wonderful piece on the counter insurgency fight in the New York Post. Take a look at what Cucullu has to say:
Petraeus has his troops applying a similar formula in Baghdad's Sadr City: "We're clearing it neighborhood by neighborhood." Troops move in - mainly U.S. soldiers and Marines supported by Iraqi forces, although that ratio is reversed in some areas - and stay. They are not transiting back to large, remote bases but are now living with the people they have come to protect. The results, Petraeus says, have been "dramatic."
"We're using 'soft knock' clearing procedures and bringing the locals in on our side," he notes. By being in the neighborhoods, getting to know the people and winning their trust, the soldiers have allowed the people to turn against the al Qaeda terrorists, whom they fear and loathe. Petraeus says his goal is to pull al Qaeda out "by its roots, wherever it tries to take hold."
Another change: an emphasis on protecting of gathering places like mosques and marketplaces. "We initiated Operation Safe Markets," Petraeus said, "and have placed ordinary concrete highway barriers around the vulnerable targets." Car bombings have dropped precipitately - the limited access thwarts them.
As a result, "The marketplaces, including the book market that was targeted for an especially vicious attack, are rebuilding and doing great business. It is helping the local economy enormously to have this kind of protection in place." With jobs plentiful and demand growing, the appeal of militia armies declines proportionally.
It looks like the current effort to pacify Iraq is going pretty darn well and could turn the country for the better. It'll take more than these few weeks to see the real benefit but I like what I see. The only question is will the Democrats see the sea change or are they so committed to the "get out of Dodge" crowd that they're willing to lose this battle.