What a he11 of a fight we will have on our hands.
The U.S. military's top general said parts of Iraq have undergone a "sea change" of improved security during the troop surge...I think we can also nix the "surge +" rumors.
...what I'm hearing now is a sea change that is taking place in many places here," he replied. "It's no longer a matter of pushing al Qaeda out of Ramadi, for example. But rather - now that they have been pushed out - helping the local police and the local army have a chance to get their feet on the ground and set up their systems."Good news on the political front as well.
Army Col. John Charlton, whose 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division has ushered in the changes around Ramadi, noted that there has not been a roadside bomb attack there in more than two months and that attacks of all kinds are down to about one per day.
"All these trends are still very, very positive," he said. "The level of violence has gone down and stayed down. Now, that doesn't mean that al Qaeda has given up."
Pace conferred Monday with Petraeus and Pace's top deputy, Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, in Baghdad. He said then that among the options is maintaining or increasing the current troop levels of 158,000 after September. Odierno said he didn't foresee requesting more troops.
"Right now, I can't find an assessment where I would say I need more troops," Odierno said.
Also yesterday, Shiite legislators loyal to anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr decided to end their five-week boycott of parliament after receiving assurances that the government would protect their shrines.