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January 18, 2008

One Year Ago: 8% of Baghdad Neighborhoods Were Secure; Now 75% Are

I didn't realize how big that 75% figure was until I saw the 8%.

One year of the surge has brought Baghdad from 8% secure to 75% secure. Is that a "benchmark" Hillary can wrap her head around?

About 75% of Baghdad's neighborhoods are now secure, a dramatic increase from 8% a year ago when President Bush ordered more troops to the capital, U.S. military figures show.

The military classifies 356 of Baghdad's 474 neighborhoods in the "control" or "retain" category of its four-tier security rating system, meaning enemy activity in those areas has been mostly eliminated and normal economic activity is resuming.

The data given by the military to USA TODAY provide one of the clearest snapshots yet of how security has improved in Baghdad since roughly 30,000 additional American troops arrived in Iraq last year.

U.S. commanders caution that the gains are still fragile, but at the moment U.S. and Iraqi forces "basically own the streets," said Col. Ricky Gibbs, a brigade commander in southern Baghdad.

...

The 310 neighborhoods in the "control" category are secure, but depend on U.S. and Iraqi military forces to maintain the peace. The 46 areas in the "retain" category have reached a level where Iraqi police and security forces can maintain order, a more permanent fix. The remaining areas have fewer security forces based there, though they are not necessarily violent.

In February 2007, when additional U.S. forces began arriving, only 37 Baghdad neighborhoods were in the "control" and "retain" categories.



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posted by Ace at 02:41 PM

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