Well, here's the orficer heads, and a retrospective
Nice going. For once, I'm just barely coming down with the idea that the perhaps the dismay in the Walter Reed scandal might (MIGHT!) actually be motivated by a desire to do right by the Soldiers in question rather than throwing a Designated Scapegoat to the wolves. Secretary of the Army isn't someone you just casually jettison.
In other news, you know what isn't in the news anynore? Ninewah Province. . . Funny how that happens. As a matter of fact, I don't recall seeing it in the news lately. I don't remember seeing it in the news since we left there. Hrmmm. . .
The Brigade Commander made an interesting assertation about Ramadi today. He stated that we left Ramadi like we found Tal Afar. Unconsolidated victory--the insurgents no longer control huge pieces of territory. 2,500 Iraqi Police are in uniform and either on patrol or in training--a stark contrast from the perhaps 70 terrified IPs huddled on a tiny post just outside the American camp that we found. 1st Brigade built 18 Combat Outposts and 5 IP Stations, extending American and Iraqi Security Force reach out into every single neighborhood. We spent $32 million dollars on over a hundred reconstruction projects.
Ramadi has a mayor, who is supported by a council of tribal sheiks who actually are working to secure Ramadi for their own people.
Approximately 1,200 terrorists were put down, and nearly the same number jailed.
We lost 95 Soldiers, Marines, and Sailors.
The terrorists continue to execute suicide bombings, but that's going to be the nature of things. Suicide bombers are hard to stop, but suicide bombings do not control territory or populations. It is the least effective (though flashy) technique available, and one which alienates the uncommitted elements of the Iraqi population, and even those friendly to the insurgents.
I honestly believe that we came out ahead in Ramadi, and that the combination of agressive patrolling, dispersing units into bad neighborhoods and denying the enemy sactuaries, plus building of relations with local leaders and creation of security forces will, in the long run, prove effective. If we are permitted to win.