Thunderpig’s Mirror

Iraq Update for January 8th

Posted by Thunder Pig on January 8, 2008

Since the Legacy Media does such a poor job on keeping the public up to date on the progress of our military in Iraq, the task is falling to the New Media, and what bloggers can scrounge from military websites, and the websites of embedded bloggers (who may or may not be serving in the military), and bloggers who live in the region who report what is going on around them.

So here goes:

Despite the recent success in reducing the violence in Iraq, the fight against al Qaeda in Iraq and the Shia extremist terror groups is not over. Coalition and Iraqi forces have launched Operation Phantom Phoenix, a new operation targeting the terror groups throughout Iraq.

The scope of Phantom Phoenix is nationwide. The operation is “a series of joint Iraqi and Coalition division- and brigade-level operations to pursue and neutralize remaining al-Qaeda in Iraq and other extremist elements,” Lieutenant General Ray Odierno, the commander of Multinational Corps – Iraq stated. “Phantom Phoenix will synchronize lethal and non-lethal effects to exploit recent security gains and disrupt terrorist support zones and enemy command and control.”

The specific geographical locations targeted during Phantom Phoenix were not identified. Iraqi and Coalition forces will “pursue al-Qaeda and other extremists wherever they attempt to take sanctuary,” Odierno said.

The region northeast of Miqdadiyah will be a primary focus of the operation. Al Qaeda in Iraq has established a “haven” in the region, and has used this base to funnel attacks against Awakening and Concerned Local Citizens groups attempting to establish in the Baqubah region.

Source: Bill Roggio of The Long war Journal.

And here is a story about how U.S. Marines are training Iraqi soldiers, despite what you may hear from the Media, and the anti-war Congress Critters:

QAIM — Iraqi Soldiers are learning to fight and win on the battlefield thanks to the efforts of U.S. Marines. Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division, not only are engaged in a constant training cycle with Marines at Combat Outpost North, but also are excelling at it.

In the brisk winter breeze, Military Transition Team (MTT) members partnered with Marines from Weapons Company, Task Force 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 2, integrated key Iraqi Soldiers into their execution of several reactionary drills.

The Iraqi Soldiers observed and then participated in immediate-action and break-contact drills with the Marines so they could, in turn, teach their junior Soldiers the same tactics and procedures.

“It’s very important to integrate our training,” said Marine Staff Sgt. Charles D. Cox, a section leader for Weapons Company. “If we don’t integrate, and it comes time for us to do a joint operation, not everyone will be on the same sheet of music. Should something happen, everyone needs to know how to react.”

Training side by side while stationed together at Combat Outpost North, the Marines and Iraqi Soldiers interact daily.

“The closer we live, the faster they learn and the better they pick up on our techniques,” said Marine Cpl. Aaron Missey, a squad leader with Weapons Company. “It’s only a matter of time until we can all go home, and they can be secure in the fact that they have enough knowledge to stand on their own against oppressive forces.”

The Iraqi Soldiers at Combat Outpost North have gained the respect and admiration of their Marine comrades and continue to excel at their training.

Source: Multi-National Forces-Iraq, an excellent source of information.

And here is a year in review post:

Reviewing the dispatches from 2007 shows that the war in Iraq is not spiraling toward inevitable catastrophic failure. The year did not start out on a positive note.

In January 2007, growing doubts I had about our ability to stave off an eventual genocide in Iraq were intensified by our failure to competently manage the media battlespace. Within the military I sensed a growing censorship and was myself denied access to the battlefields in 2006. After months of fighting with Army Public Affairs for access, they relented, but only due to public pressure following the publication of an article in the Weekly Standard. An expanded version of the article “On Censorship” was published as the dispatch “Al Sahab—the Cloud” on my website. The article was blunt; by then I’d been fighting for about six months to re-embed with troops.

Source: Michael Yon Magazine Online, and if you have some extra money laying around, please consider donating to help him pay expenses to stay in the region and be a citizen-embed in the region. He is also putting together some of his material in order to publish a book about his experiences in Iraq called Moment of Truth in Iraq.

So, as you can see, things are not going as badly as we were told by the media and certain congress critters, like Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Jack Murtha, and others like Pete Stark.

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