If you said the main road to Baghdad Airport… you used to be correct. I’d like to see this report on the CBSNBCABC Evening News!
The Road To Victory – Mudville Gazette
For 2 1/2 years, the road was, in many ways, a symbol of the U.S. failure to secure Iraq. Military convoys roared past in a frantic attempt to escape the looming dangers of suicide bombers, grenades, rockets and booby-trapped litter. But insurgents’ relentless attacks claimed a steady toll.
Then, two months ago, the killings stopped. In October, one person was wounded on the road and no one was killed, according to the U.S. Army, which also calculated the April deaths. The turnaround was owed to simple, boots-on-the-ground military tactics, Army officials said.
And this is how. Many factors contributed to that success – but the one that can’t be overemphasized is the presence of trained Iraqi troops on the street.
The Iraqi soldiers, with a handful of U.S. troops by their side, walked the dusty dirt roads of the neighborhood. Weapons drawn, they searched alleys and courtyards. But mostly, they just walked, calling out greetings to Iraqis gathered outside their homes before the breaking of the fast during the holy month of Ramadan. The sweet scent of spice-infused meat and vegetables filled the night air, as women in black cloaks scurried home with stacks of piping-hot flat bread.
Ali said the Iraqi soldiers had been influential in helping control the neighborhood, keeping the potential attackers from using side streets to reach the airport road. “We are Iraqis, and we know strangers from their faces,” Ali said. “We can stop them, and we know if they lie to us. The Americans don’t know.”