Government Report Shows Solid Security Gains in Iraq

You know things are going well in Iraq when the The New York Times is starting to report on the progress.

U.S. military deaths in Iraq and Iraqi civilian deaths during the Baghdad security crackdown, via the AP.

But, here’s a positive security report that didn’t seem to make any headlines yesterday…
Maybe the media thought it might affect the elections(?)
The US House Armed Services Committee was given the Annual Threat Assessment by Dr. Thomas Fingar the Deputy Director for National Intelligence for Analysis.
Here is what that report said about the current threat by Al-Qaeda (page 8):


The brutal attacks against Muslim civilians unleashed by AQI and AQIM and the conflicting demands of the various extremist agendas are tarnishing al-Qa’ida’s self-styled image as the extremist vanguard. Over the past year, a number of religious leaders and fellow extremists who once had significant influence with al-Qa’ida have publicly criticized it and its affiliates for the use of violent tactics.

Usama Bin Ladin’s public statement about Iraq in October—in which he admitted that AQI made mistakes and urged it to reconcile with other Iraqi insurgent groups—provoked controversy on extremist Internet discussion forums. Likewise, deputy al-Qa’ida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri has been criticized by supporters for perceived contradictions in his public statements about HAMAS and softness toward Iran and the Shia.

Obviously, killing thousands of innocent Muslims has not helped boost Al-Qaeda’s standing in the community.

And, on page 18 of the report, the House Armed Services Committee was told of the extensive security progress in Iraq over the past year:

The security situation in Iraq continues to show signs of improvement. According to Multinational Force-Iraq, as of the end of 2007, security incidents countrywide and in the 10 Baghdad Security Districts have declined to their lowest levels since the February 2006 Samarra Golden Mosque bombing; civilian violence has declined to pre-Samarra levels; and monthly civilian fatalities nationwide have fallen by over half in the past year. We judge these security gains are the result of a combination of factors, including the success of tribal efforts in combating AQI, expanded Coalition operations, and the growing capabilities of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF).

We judge that organized tribal resistance to AQI––aided by expanded Coalition operations––has reduced AQI’s operational capabilities. Concurrently, decisions by major elements of the Sunni insurgency to work with the Coalition this year have weakened the insurgency by reducing the number of Sunnis involved in violent resistance.

Many tribal members and former insurgents have joined “Concerned Local Citizen” groups (CLCs) or “tribal awakening” movements that are cooperating with the Coalition and Iraqi Government. Some groups have indicated a desire to move beyond providing security. They now want to promote economic development and become
political movements. They also are endorsing the legitimacy of elections and political bargaining to effect change at the provincial and national levels of government.

A steady decline in suicide attacks––the majority of which we judge are conducted by foreign terrorists––indicates that Coalition disruptions of AQI’s foreign terrorists have eroded AQI’s capability to mount suicide operations.

The ISF effectively deployed forces to Baghdad in support of Operation Fardh al-Qanun this spring and, most recently, to Al Basrah and Ad Diwaniyah. While showing dramatic improvements, the ISF currently needs the Coalition for planning, supporting, and executing sustained operations.

Someone needs to send a copy of this report and today’s New York Times to Negative Nancy.

Here is a list of the members of the US House Armed Services Committee.
Hat Tip to Haider Ajina

In other news from Iraq… The inflation rate in Iraq fell to its lowest rate in 17 years in 2007.

And, Dean’s World has more on the political progress in Iraq.
Hat Tip BG

UPDATE: More Al-Qaeda Savagery– Video shows Iraqi captives being BURNED ALIVE!

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