Thursday, February 15, 2007

First Sweep

The New York Times has an article detailing the first sweep of Baghdad under Bush's security plan. The focus of the story is that the coalition forces have yet to have any significant encounters with Iraqi militias or insurgent groups, but this was to be expected considering comments by Sadr militiamen made in the last few weeks:
"'Our top leadership has told us to lay low and not confront the Americans.' one mid-level commander explained. Others in the organization said street fighters have been told not to wear their black uniforms and to hide their weapons, to make their checkpoints less visible. Reports from the growing number of neighborhoods controlled by the militias indicate fighters are obeying." [more]
The real news is that the Iraqi security forces seem to be nowhere near ready to uphold their end of the new security plan. According to the NYT only 200 Iraqi police officers and soldiers were involved in the sweep alongside 2,500 Americans. It seems that concerns with training and equipping Iraqi security forces were quite well-founded.

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