RUBS: At Long Last Justice

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[Note: Dispatches this month will be in the RUBs condition: Raw Unedited and Barely Spellchecked before publishing. These dispatches are being written on the fly because I am on the ground, always on the move, gathering raw material and finishing Moment of Truth in Iraq.]

At Long Last, Justice

Mosul, Northern Iraq
21 February 2008

The fighting in Mosul, the capital of Nineveh Province, is likely to look much different than combat that has taken place elsewhere in Iraq. In Anbar Province, Baghdad and Baqubah, various amalgams of tribes, former insurgents and concerned citizens joined up with American and Iraqi forces and devastated al Qaeda. The forces arrayed against al Qaeda in those areas included heavy commitments from Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), without whom those missions would not have succeeded. But the bulk of the combat power and counterinsurgency adroitness came from the Americans, operating with the benefit of information flowing from civilian Iraqis.

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RUBs: Photo of the Year?

Sunday, 10 February 2008 

These words come to you from South Baghdad, where signs of progress are unmistakable. I am with 1-4 CAV in an area that was among the most dangerous in Iraq during early and mid 2007.  But a few days ago I walked down a road—wearing no body armor or helmet—where just 7 or 8 months ago tanks and Strykers would have been in great danger.

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RUBs: Dinner with General Dubik

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[Baghdad] One of the most important measures of progress in Iraq is the development of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF). In order for our troops to draw down without squandering the tremendous recent gains, Iraqis must be able to govern and protect their own country. There are conflicting reports concerning the ISF’s capability and reliability. Understanding that this is a complex issue which depends to a great extent on projections, predictions and interpretations rather than hard facts, I will describe the situation as I see it.

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RUBS: 04-Feb-2008

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After the meeting in South Baghdad neighborhood (Mulhallah 840) described in my previous RUBS dispatch, there was some drama between National Police (NP) and the Concerned Local Citizens (CLCs). But, names are always changing in Iraq, and as of about a week ago, the CLCs are now the “Sons of Iraq.” Technically, the Sons of Iraq (CLCs) work for the National Police, but they are paid by the Coalition.

Read more: RUBS: 04-Feb-2008

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