Nov 13, 2007

The Next Few Months...

An Army Brigade, part of The Surge, is being withdrawn from Iraq in the next few weeks. The Advance Party is in the United States, and the Cav BCT is withdrawing from Diyala – they did their job well: driving the insurgents (or Iranians, or whomever) and various bad guys out of the Province, they gave the local Iraqis the time and the courage to do the rest themselves.

And as a result of this co-operation is that the Iraqis run their villages, towns, and cities with an increasing confidence and professionalism – and the Americans can begin to come home.

As I’ve written in the past two-plus months, this scene is being increasingly repeated throughout the country. It’s substantially quieter and peaceful in the “southern belts” below Baghdad, as well as in the Wasit area to the east, on the Iranian border. And with the Marines winning in Anbar, that sums up most of the country.

Some hotspots remain, but are hotspots primarily due to Shia vs. Shia rivalry. Basra’s a problem, as is much Baghdad, but that’s the problem of Maleki and his government. Marines and Soldiers will continue to be killed, but now it’s sporadic, as opposed to the street fights of a year ago.

In short, “The Surge” worked; we FINALLY had the necessary troop strength on the ground, and the Iraqis FINALLY stood up and did their share.
So what’s next - where will I be ?

Afghanistan – Pakistan – Horn of Africa

In the past few weeks I’ve written more on Pakistan; you can expect more of that. You’ll see far more news from Afghanistan, because as Pakistan continues to implode, the Taliban will continue to increase their efforts to destabilize Afghanistan.
Somalia and that whole ugly part of the world is heating up again, and as problems in Somalia create refugees, instability, and retaliation, I’ll be writing on HOA as appropriate.

And who knows what might happen with Iran?

We’ll continue to cover Iraq; no one’s going to forget our Marines and Soldiers, at least as long as I’m writing The Military Observer

But that’s the direction we’ll be taking in the upcoming months – let me know what you think, and if you have any ideas, suggestions, or comments – sing out!

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