CBNNews.com - One year ago today the first U.S. surge troops arrived in Iraq. In the twelve months since, the progress has been absolutely astounding, and I'd go so far as to assert that the war is won - though we still have some mopping up to do.
Here's what the 30,000 surge troops enabled us to do in Iraq:
1. Stop commuting to work. Before the surge, U.S. troops were primarily located on large Forward Operating Bases, and would travel to their areas of operations and then come home when they finished. The problem that caused was two-fold. The commute was dangerous because of the threat of IEDs. And once we completed our operations in a neighborhood and went home, AQI would flow right back in.
The surge allowed us to go into troubled neighborhoods and STAY. When that happened, the local civilians, tired of being brutalized by Al Qaeda, were quick to turn in the bad guys, and willing to stand and fight when they knew we had their backs.
2. Stopping the flow of weapons and explosives into Baghdad. Surge troops have given us the muscle to plug the lines of supply that were responsible for most of the Vehicle Borne IED's and suicide explosions in Baghdad. From stopping them right at the Iranian border to cleaning up dozens of weapons caches per week, surge troops allowed us to take much of the "bang" out of Al Qaeda's cowardly tactics across the country.
3. Prove our Loyalty to the Iraqi people - this is arguably the most powerful effect the surge has had on Iraq. A year ago, Al Qaeda was warning the Iraqi people not to side with the Americans, because, they said, we'd soon pull out, leaving those who cooperated to face the wrath of Al Qaeda. Not only did we not pull out, we upped the ante and put more "skin in the game." This proved to everyone that we were serious. And it's had a dramatic effect - with now more than fifty thousand men belonging to the Sons of Iraq - the country-wide concerned local citizens movment.
And this movement represents the REAL "surge" in Iraq - long after all of our troops come home, these "surge" soldiers will remain - because they ARE home.
It's happening already - all over the country, Iraqi police and army personnell are taking the reigns and U.S. troops are falling back to a support role. The momentum in Iraq is almost unstoppable at this point. The only thing that could derail this success now is the U.S. congress and senate - by yanking support for the war before the newfound peace can come to full bloom.
Live Fire with Chuck Holton