Capitalizing on Success: General George W. Casey Jr.

The Iraqi government, with a complete security cabinet, is now standing on its own. The seating of a government based on national unity was a critical precursor for future success. In cooperation with the Iraqi government, we now have an opportunity to capitalize on recent successes afforded by the seating of the new government and the death of al-Qaida in Iraq’s Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, laying the foundation for future prosperity in Iraq.

This month about 2,500 Iraqis are being released throughout Iraq as a visible symbol of national unity and reconciliation. Baghdad security is steadily improving as a result of operation Amaliya Ma’am Ila al-Amam, Together Forward, which started in mid-June. And provincial Iraqi control of Muthanna is set for this July. All of these demonstrate a real and tangible beginning to a new phase in Iraq’s history.

Violence is not widespread in Iraq. Fourteen of the 18 provinces, which have 63 percent of the population, experience less than nine attacks per day. Violence is centered in a 30-mile radius around Baghdad. Eleven of those 14 provinces have less than one attack per day. While violence is still at unacceptable levels, it is declining when compared to the week following the Samarra mosque bombing.

Gen. George W. Casey Jr., Commanding General
Gen. George W. Casey Jr., Commanding General

However, violence and troop reductions alone are not an accurate measure of success in Iraq. We have achieved great progress with the Iraqi security forces and have 265,000 military and police. This translates to three divisions, 18 brigades and 69 battalions in the fight now. By the end of this summer, 75 percent of the Iraqi Army brigades will be in the lead. Ninety percent of the divisions will be in the lead by the end of the year.

Another positive sign of progress is the upcoming transfer of the Muthanna province to Iraqi control. Muthanna will be the first of the 18 provinces to assume full security responsibility. Achieving this is an involved process that shows Iraqi success in developing the government and security forces. As always, the Coalition stands by to assist, but the first line of defense for emergencies in the province will be the Iraqi security forces.

Al-Qaida in Iraq forces are significantly hurt, and the elected Iraqi government headed by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is making a strong stand and representing the Iraqi people – not sectarian agendas. Operation Amaliya Ma’am Ila al-Amam is succeeding in making Baghdad safer. Iraqis are increasingly taking control of their country as evidenced by the upcoming transfer of the Muthanna province. We are well postured to make 2006 a decisive year in Iraq.

Alan Gray is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of NewsBlaze Daily News and other online newspapers. He prefers to edit, rather than write, but sometimes an issue rears it’s head and makes him start hammering away on the keyboard.

Content Expertise

Alan has been on the internet since it first started. He loves to use his expertise in content and digital marketing to help businesses grow, through managed content services. After living in the United States for 15 years, he is now in South Australia. To learn more about how Alan can help you with content marketing and managed content services, contact him by email.

Technical Expertise

Alan is also a techie. His father was a British soldier in the 4th Indian Division in WWII, with Sikhs and Gurkhas. He was a sergeant in signals and after that, he was a printer who typeset magazines and books on his linotype machine. Those skills were passed on to Alan and his brothers, who all worked for Telecom Australia, on more advanced signals (communications). After studying electronics, communications, and computing at college, and building and repairing all kinds of electronics, Alan switched to programming and team building and management.

He has a fascination with shooting video footage and video editing, so watch out if he points his Canon 7d in your direction.