Skip to comments.Normalcy Returns to Baghdad’s Outskirts as Attacks Decline
Posted on 12/20/2007 3:56:23 PM PST by SandRat
WASHINGTON, Dec. 20, 2007 The decrease in violence seen in Baghdads northern and western outskirts has created a sense of stability and fueled economic activity that Iraqis view as a presage to the return of normalcy, a U.S. commander posted in Iraq told Pentagon reporters today.
From a security perspective, there has been significant progress, Army Col. Paul E. Funk, commander of the 1st Cavalry Divisions 1st Brigade Combat Team, told reporters during a satellite-carried news conference.
The 4,000-soldier-strong 1st Brigade has been responsible for security issues in areas north and west of Baghdad since December 2006, Funk said, noting his unit works closely with Iraqi soldiers, police and local Sunni and Shiite volunteers.
Extremist-committed attacks in his sector have sharply dropped since the first of the year, Funk reported.
We have seen attacks drop from an average of 150 a week in (the) late January and February timeframe, to less than 10 attacks a week, Funk said. The result has been nothing short of phenomenal. When I walk through the local markets, they are full. Small businesses are erupting everywhere.
The decrease in violence has fostered a feeling of growing civil stability among Iraqis that has encouraged local entrepreneurs to take advantage of economic grants provided by the U.S. military, the U.S. Agency for International Development and other sources, Funk explained.
A sense of the return of normalcy has caught on, and there has been remarkable progress, the colonel said.
However, the threat of extremist violence remains, Funk cautioned. We have a long way to go, he said.
Although al Qaeda extremists have been driven out of his area of operations, Funk said theyre still plotting to commit spectacular attacks against the Iraqi population to create the perception of social chaos as part of their scheme to derail the Iraqi government.
Therefore, extremist attacks in Iraq are likely to continue, Funk said. But over time, the assaults will become the exception and not the rule, he predicted.
Iraqis of all ethnic and religious backgrounds are heartily tired of insurgent-committed violence and yearn for peace and stability, Funk said, pointing to the burgeoning growth of anti-insurgent volunteers in his sector and other areas of the country.
As stability and confidence grows, Iraqis no longer talk about security as a prime concern, Funk said, noting that Iraqis also are concerned about services, government and education for their children.
Meanwhile, Funks troops and their Iraqi security-force partners remain alert to thwart possible extremist incursions. Al Qaeda, he reiterated, has been largely marginalized in his sector.
Were in the pursuit phase of this operation, Funk said, noting that al Qaeda insurgents are much more concerned about me now than I am about them.
I blame Bush.
Terrible news...for the demonRATs
No, No, No! Say it ain’t so! Without the quagmire of endless death and destruction that is Iraq, the Demoocrats in Congress (sans Lieberman), have lost their raison dêtre. Forgive Me, but damn’em all to hell! Why is it politically incorrect to wish the survival of the greatest nation in the history of the earth? God bless the U.S.A.!
NO! NO! NO! NO!
The Surge is Working!!!
“Excellent!” Nothing more need spoken.
Congratulations to our Amazing Troops. The Victory is nearly complete.
Pray for W and Our Freedom Fighters
The Democrats hate President Bush so much that they’ll rather lose Iraq just so the President’s legacy will be damaged.
You didn’t see Republicans act like this while Clinton sent our Troops to Bosnia.
While I supported the troops, we were on the wrong side in that conflict. It is Russia’s sphere of influence since Serbia is their little brother.
I opposed the war before we went, but once we went I kept my mouth shut and I supported the Troops.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.