Buttle's World

4 July, 2009

How We Won the War in Iraq

Filed under: Posts — clgood @ 8:47

General Petraeus is widely credited for his successful COIN (Counter-Insurgency) doctrine, and justly so. But someone had to implement that plan where the rubber meets the road. One of those men was  Lieutenant Colonel Jim Crider, already familiar to readers of Michael Yon. His kinetic credentials are impeccable.

He’s also a very smart man. Here (in PDF format) is an article he wrote on what it was like inside the surge. As Thomas Ricks says in the forward:

Crider’s essay is not only about this crucial level of action, it is about a critical time – the “surge” phase of the Iraq war in 2007-2008. Whether or not one believes that the surge ultimately achieved its strategic goal of a political breakthrough (I do not), there is no question that it succeeded at the tactical level. In this work, Crider shows how that happened. He begins by detailing how difficult the winter and spring of 2007 were, with some of the highest levels of violence seen against American troops in the war, at least so far. For many months, his troops, like others in Baghdad, were bombed and shot, with little or no sign of any improvement of security in the city. Some 70 Americans were killed in February, 71 in March, 96 in April, and 120 in May. General David Petraeus later told me that he looks back upon that spring as a “horrific nightmare.” Then, to the surprise of many, in the summer of 2007, the level of violence began to drop precipitously.

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