Here’s a compelling piece by James Pethokoukis at the Capital Commerce blog on the U.S. News & World Report site.
Category: Surge 2007
â€œBy every metric that we measure violence in Iraq, there has been a dramatic improvement from where things were before the surge,â€ Morrell said. â€œI’ll just point to one, and that is [that] in July of last year, we had 79 U.S. [servicemembers killed in action] in Iraq. We have four thus far this month.â€
The dramatic security gains have provided room for political and economic successes. â€œYou name it, it is happening in Iraq,â€ Morrell said. â€œDo you want to talk about political gains? We’ve had basically all the major benchmark legislation passed.â€
Soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, are redeploying back to Fort Stewart, Ga., this month.
The 2nd BCT deployed in May 2007 as the fifth surge brigade. Its mission was to block accelerants from entering Baghdad, protect the local population, defeat sectarian violence, continue to increase the capacity of the Iraqi Security Forces, foster local governance and economic systems, and to set the conditions for long-term self-reliance.
The electricity gains have been possible because violence in Iraq has dropped to its lowest level in more than four years. The change has been driven by the 2007 buildup of American forces, the Sunni revolt against al-Qaida in Iraq and Iraqi government crackdowns against Sunni extremists and Shiite militias, among other factors.
The last of the five Army brigades to deploy with the â€œtroop surgeâ€ in Iraq will return in July after a 13-month deployment, during which soldiers detained more than 800 terrorist suspects and helped foster Iraqi self-governance.