Thursday, November 30, 2006

"Fallujah today is a boom town" for construction

Video-link briefing from Marine Col Larry Nicholson, Regimental Combat Team 5 Commander (The Fighting Fifth, the Marine Corp's most decorated unit).

Facts on the ground, the rest of the picture:

  • Elected, functional city government, despite intimidation campaign
  • populace has returned following violence / earlier pacification campaigns,
  • relative safe-haven status vis-a-vis current Baghdad,
  • U.S. troop drawdown from 3,000 to 300; nine Iraqi battalions - needs to double
  • Americans working alongside Iraqis, including businessmen; but police development is slow.
  • Six entry points to the city,
  • everyone with ID-resident badges (no refugee camps - families in Fallujah help those displaced in need),
  • five (5) incidents a day, including non-lethal, in overall city of 400,000
(paraphrase) "In the middle of a Sunni insurgency, but we are the best friends of the Sunni population here. The Iraqis we're working with here thoroughly understand that."

Video Link

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