Brigadier General Kevin Bergner, held a briefing today, covering the improving security situation in North Western Iraq.
The Brigadier General said there is significant progress in taking down the al Qaeda network that has plagued the citizens of Northern Iraq. He estimated they have impacted about 80 percent of that network in terms of detaining, capturing and killing the leadership and disrupting their resources and and support bases.
Most importantly, he said “The population here is no longer on the fence. They want their freedom. They’re providing information to Iraqi security forces and coalition forces. And we see that in a number of ways, but one of the most quantifiable is in terms of the number of tips and information that they pass that allow Iraqi security forces and our own to interrupt and preclude attacks.”
The population are also volunteering to serve in their security forces. Police recruiting is steadily strong. And they increasingly identify with their elected governments. This is seen in terms of how they participate in interactions with their local government at the district, city and provincial level.
For example, in some cases in meetings with the provincial government that involved 25 people back in January and February, today in those same places the number is between 250 to 400 people that will attend a meeting. They come to discuss the security situation, the economic situation and so forth. So an encouraging sign that the Iraqi people increasingly have a confidence in their own government.
Iraqi security forces are becoming more effective with many being capable of limited independent operations at the small unit level. Police are shooting back when they are shot at. They’re standing their ground more and more. They are offensively oriented. And they are increasingly able to develop their own intelligence and then conduct operations based on that intelligence.
The Iraqi police from Mosul and the Iraqi army forces of the 3rd Iraqi Army Division are universally recognized by the people at Tall Afar as forces that they both trust and respect.
Berger said “And I hear that from the people that I talk to on the street, I hear it from the sheikhs, and I hear it from the city leadership, as well.”
On any given day about 800 Iraqi Police are in training, and each month about 600 complete the eight-week basic course. In late August the Ministry of Interior opened an accredited police academy in Mosul, so for the first time in the past year, there are now police from Nineveh Province that are receiving the same quality of training and preparation here in Mosul that they used to have to go to the Jordan International Police Training Academy for.
Much of the credit for these accomplishments in the security area rest with the soldiers of the 1st Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division, the Stryker Brigade Combat Team, who just completed a year-long deployment here.
Brigadier General Bergner thanked Colonel Bob Brown and Command Sergeant Major Tom Adams and their magnificent soldiers. “They have truly made an enormous difference in the lives of millions of Iraqi people here. And the Iraqi people here will never forget them, and nor will we. They’ve done a tremendous job.”
Source: Multi-National Force-Iraq