The top U.S. commander in Baghdad says that a two-month counter-insurgency sweep has “mostly eliminated” the enemy’s ability to “conduct sustained high-intensity operations” around the capital, reports Rowan Scarborough in the Washington Times. The sweeps involved more than 500 raids and resulted in the capture of more than 1,700 suspected terrorists.
The carefully chosen words quoted above don’t say that the enemy cannot still inflict casualties. However, the number of car bombings in Baghdad has declined by more than one half recently. The statement also does not claim that the enemy will be unable to regain its former stength; in fact the commander (Maj. Gen. William Webster, Jr.) acknowledges that this could happen. However, the present increase in security confers credibility on Iraq’s security forces and government, enhances the reconstruction effort, and improves the outlook for the October voter referendum on the new constitution.
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