US Hands Over Army Control in Iraq

In a ceremony today in Baghdad Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki took control of the Iraqi army in a major step forward for the fledgling democracy of Iraq.

The Iraqi Army is already in the lead in much of the country. (MNF-Iraq)

Coalition forces handed over control of the army to the central government of Iraq in ceremonies today:

The US-led coalition in Iraq has formally handed control of the country’s armed forces to Prime Minister Nouri Maliki.
He signed an accord with the US military at a delayed ceremony in the capital, Baghdad.

The first units to be transferred are Iraq’s small navy and air force, and the 8th Army Division, based in Najaf.

“From today forward, the Iraqi military responsibilities will be increasingly conceived and led by Iraqis,” said Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, at a ceremony.


The Multi-Forces troops helped reduce Iraqi casualties significantly last month.(MNF-Iraq)

The first units to be handed over include the small navy and air force:

The US-led coalition in Iraq has formally handed control of the country’s armed forces to Prime Minister Nouri Maliki.
He signed an accord with the US military at a delayed ceremony in the capital, Baghdad.

The first units to be transferred are Iraq’s small navy and air force, and the 8th Army Division, based in Najaf.


Coalition forces helped reduce the violence from death squads last month. (MNF-Iraq)

How do you explain this progress in Iraq and Baghdad?
Reader CLT510 still has the best explanation:

The real story in Iraq is the undeniable reality that Iraqi security forces are approaching maturity, and there is absolutely nothing that the insurgents can do about it. As their forces reach maturity, with their acceptance by the general population a near certainty, and as the force numbers on the ground reach the level needed to maintain control throughout the country, the game is drawing to a close. Checkmate for the insurgency.

It is a matter of time before this happens. It may happen in six months or as long as two years, but it will happen.

In 2003, insurgent attacks looked like a shot-gun pattern across Iraq. Over time, they have become more and more regionalized, until last month, over half of the attacks occurred inside of Baghdad proper.

For all of Will Robert’s comments, he fails to identify that underlying pattern: It’s relatively easy to kill civilians, so the numbers themselves don’t mean that much. It is the absence of attacks in over 75% of Iraq that is more telling than the shear volume of civilian murders and other atrocities by the insurgents. They have lost the ability to operate in most of the country, and the squeeze is still on.

This quagmire has come a long way.

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