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March 17, 2006

Military: Operation Swarmer Shows Iraqi Troops Taking The Lead

Good news:

The U.S. military said on Friday a joint U.S.-Iraqi offensive marked a change in the fight against guerillas, showing Iraq's army was becoming increasingly effective and taking more control.

U.S. troop withdrawals from Iraq hinge on the capability of the Iraqi army, disbanded by U.S. authorities in 2003 and now being rapidly rebuilt, in the face of a raging insurgency and a surge in sectarian killings.

"(The operation) really marks a change and it marks an evolution," said a top U.S. commander, Lieutenant General Peter Chiarelli, adding Iraqi forces would control about 75 percent of the country by later this year, up from under 50 percent now.

"I think operations like 'Swarmer' are operations you're going to see more and more of … as we turn over more of the large urban areas to Iraqi forces," said Chiarelli.

"Had we tried to accomplish a mission like this 11 months ago, it would have been primarily U.S. forces. But in this case … we had primarily Iraqi forces," he said.

Well that's certainly good news. A terrorist mob can't defeat a government armed with a professional army. If the Iraqi army can handle this stuff, then the war is won.

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posted by Ace at 05:34 PM

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