Iraqi security update April 22 2010
I had the opportunity to speak with United States Forces-Iraq Spokesman, Maj. Gen. Stephen Lanza in a Bloggers’ Roundtable today. He was able to brief us on a number of security issues and the status of U.S. forces at this time.
General Lanza told us that here are currently about 96,000 American troops in Iraq. Where there were formerly three major commands, there is now one, United States Forces – Iraq.
The troops are engaged in missions supporting Iraqi border enforcement, supporting the various Provincial Reconstruction Teams, counter-terror operations and in patrolling the “belts” around Baghdad. [The "belts" are areas outside the city proper that are usually ethnically similar in population, rural with hamlets and small towns and have not seen the level of attention from the Iraqi national government or U.S. forces that the cities have seen. In the past, the "belts" provided sanctuaries for insurgents and al Qaeda in Iraq.]
Lanza described the number of al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) members as about 1,500 to 2,000. Nearly all of them are Iraqis and the foreign fighters and foreign financing have generally left the country. AQI, as he told us, is fractured into three factions. The ideologues, the nationalists and the opportunists are each operating their own version of AQI. With foreign money nearly cut off, funds are now being raised through kidnapping and extortion.
The Quds force, Iranian paramilitary troops, remain a big concern. Lanza described U.S. and Iraqi efforts in the eastern provinces bordering Iran as having reduced smuggling and illegal border crossing. He also told us that the Syrian border has become more tightly controlled as well.
AQI remains able to conduct terror ops as small, loosely connected cells. The General said that an AQI response to the killing of their leaders was expected. Iraqi security forces are obtaining intelligence from many more individuals which has lead to the recent successes. Lanza anticipates that these bombings will generate more intelligence and more success for the Iraqis.
Table of contents for Bloggers' Roundtable
- We Don’t Commute to Work Anymore
- Terror Investors Might Want to Look Elsewhere
- I Hear It’s Safe
- In Our Area the Taliban Are Paying More a Month
- Iraqi Police Progress
- Sept. 11 Conspirators Going to Trial
- Continued Courage and Committment
- The Year of Opportunity – 2008
- Competent, Capable, Effective Leadership
- Afghan Army Acts: Decisive, Overwhelming
- Iraqi Military Medical Services
- Dallas Reporting: Aid Mission to Georgia
- Military Integration Into NIMS
- Status Report From the Afghan South
- Status Report From the Afghan East
- Fourth Fleet Is About Partnerships
- Iraqi Police Primer
- Sons of Iraq Status Update
- Army Apologizes
- We Are Here!
- Yar! There Be Pirates!
- Cobra Gold 2009
- Our Best: Sergeant First Class Helen Gillespie
- Africa Partnership Station Comes to E Africa
- Building the Rule of Law in Afghanistan
- Sons of Iraq and the Iraqi Budget
- Air Force Combat Camera – Focus on the Fight
- Afghan Update for July 22, 2009
- The Army Goal: 1.5 Gigawatts of Renewable Energy
- Withdrawing from Iraq – some perspective
- Iraqi security update April 22 2010
- 2012 Federal Budget for Defense
- Pacific Command and the Pacific
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