Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Iraqi Army Does Mud Huts and Chai Tea

MANDALI, Iraq - Iraqi girls jumped to their feet and chanted a welcome greeting to Iraqi soldiers as they arrived with boxes of school supplies donated by a non-profit organization from Westchester County, N.Y.

The Iraqi soldiers of the 1st Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army Division smiled as they handed out pencil cases, and notebooks to the all-girls school of Mandali.

“The Iraqi deputy brigade commander, Col. A Sa’ad decided he wanted to visit one of the local Mandali schools with his Soldiers,” said Maj. Dan McLaughlin, the deputy team leader for the 1st Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army Military Transition Team and Berwyn, Pa., native.

His group works alongside 1st Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army Division, which operates in this area of Diyala province.

Civil Military Operations such as these help gain the trust of the Iraqi people and let them know that the army is here to help, explained McLaughlin.

The classrooms once again collectively cheered, “ma as-salama, wiyakum,” good bye, as the Iraqi soldiers left the town with smiles and needed school supplies in this small town near the Iranian border in eastern Diyala province.

Iraq Army Visits School

Now, you might wonder why I brought your attention to this, as the MSM would call it, "mundane" article. The first of which is the point about how to fight an insurgency. Insurgencies, as we have discussed, thrive with support of the community. The way to fight the war is to separate the insurgents from the citizens. Take away their natural "cover", the places to hide, the people who will tell them when we are coming, hide their weapons, give them food, etc, etc, etc.

The way to do that is to do what many insurgencies have done: provide services, provide assistance, make friends and provide at least basic security. In short, beat the insurgents at their own game.

Now, the second part of this story, barely getting any notice by most, but indicating exactly how the war will be won, is the section I highlighted: in eastern Diyala province.

Diyala province is the province where Zarqawi was killed in a house outside of Hibhib appx 10 miles north of Baquoba.

If you look at the second map, it tells you the general make up of the tribes and their religion/relations in the area. If the troops are operating along the eastern border, the are likely to be interacting with Sunni Kurds. In short, these efforts attempt to establish "no go" areas for the insurgents when we cannot cover every area by getting the population to support our efforts.

It's all mud huts and chai tea.
Do you need anymore information to understand how the war is to be fought?

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