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Patraeus' Briefing on Iraq

General Petraeus gave his first press briefing as CG of MNF-I. While the commentary and debate coming from our political leaders has shown some disconnect with events on the ground and the strategic necessities required to resolve the violence in Iraq, the General shows that he understands the task at hand and intends to fulfill his mission. For those who will not have the time to watch the video of the briefing, which is worth the time, here are some highlights of his comments:

  • Iraqi and Coalition forces are building their strength in Baghdad, and should be at full strength by June.
  • These are the early days of the effort - and it will have to be sustained to achieve its objective.
  • Sectarian attacks have declined and some displaced families are returning to their homes.
  • 96 weapons caches have been discovered in Baghdad and two car bomb factories destroyed in the last two weeks.
  • A "number of tribes" in Anbar are now working with the Coalition and Iraqi forces to defeat extremist in the region.
  • PRT teams will be doubled from the current 10 to 20.
  • US forces will protect Shi'a pilgrims on route to Karbala.
  • Iraq's Council of Ministers have submitted to the Iraqi Parliament new laws for the equitable distribution of funds from Iraq's oil reserves.

There is much more to be gained from the General's words directly. The video is available on the Pentagon Channel - or for those who have trouble viewing the Pentagon Channel, we have made it available here at ThreatsWatch.