Ops in Baghdad – National Unity

During Operations Iron Fist, River Gate and Mountaineers, it was obvious the Coalition was also pressing an operation in the Baghdad environs. Press reports from CENTCOM made it clear that concurrent operations were taking place as a series of raids resulted in over 250 suspects detained and numerous weapons caches and car bombs were discovered. Major General Rick Lynch disclosed in an October 20th press briefing that this push is called Operation National Unity, which is a combined operation that included over 20,000 Iraqi police and six brigades of the Iraqi Army:

Let’s talk about Baghdad — Operation National Unity. As I talked about, it is predictable that there is going to be a major act of violence in some populated area between now and the referendum, just like there was in Hillah yesterday. So we’ve mounted with the Iraqi Security Forces and the Iraqi government Operation National Unity, across Baghdad to create an environment that’s secure for the conduct of the referendum and for the area after the referendum prior to the elections.


Now what’s amazing is this: Currently, in Operation National Unity, there are more 20,000 members of the Iraqi police service focused on that operation, and there are indeed six brigades from the Iraqi Army participating in that operation. Just yesterday, they did 130 patrols, a cordon and search operation independently.

MG Lynch also notes the handover of four districts in Baghdad to the Iraqi Army. He also discloses the number if Iraqi Security Forces working along the Euphrates.

On the 3rd of October, the 6th Iraqi Army Division assumed control of battle space in Baghdad — significant portions of Baghdad, four districts. That division commander, the 6th Iraqi Army Division commanders, commands and controls two of his own brigades in operations across Baghdad in his area of responsibility. They own battle space; they are responsible for the command and control in that battle space. And they work in conjunction with the coalition forces to conduct effective operations throughout their battle space…

[In the] Euphrates River valley — 4,200 members of the Iraqi Security Forces work with coalition forces to secure that area along that entire stretch from Syria down to western Baghdad.

The 6th Iraqi Army Division operating in Baghdad and the units of the 1st and 7th Iraqi Army Division operating along the Euphrates are by no means “level one” units – capable of fully independent operations. The units in Baghdad are likely at level 2 (require some logistical support but can operate independently) and the units in Anbar provinces are likely at level 3 (operate along side U.S. forces). These units are effectively fighting the insurgency, and the Iraqi Army and police forces have yet to reach its full potential.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.


  • Soldier's Dad says:

    TF Baghdad has 18 Iraqi Army Battalions, 7 of which own their own battlespace.

  • Jonathan King says:

    These Iraqi Security forces are building an esprit de corps that will carry them on after US forces begin to withdraw. This is what Zarqawi and the leftists in the media fear. A solidification over time of an Iraqi mentality, above and beyond the tribal and religious mentalities that predominate in Iraq.
    This time period is critical for building that cohesion within the Iraqi forces. The anti-freedom leftists are pressing for immediate withdrawal of coalition forces. They fully understand that they are attempting to assure failure of democracy in Iraq. They want millions more Iraqis to die. Pol Pot lives on.

  • blert says:

    The Iraqi Army is only 100,000 strong, so far.
    Expect the new government to continue its expansion until it reaches beyond 250,000.
    The insurgency bleeds strategically every time the Iraqi Army successfully assumes control of an operational area. At the current tempo an Iraqi brigade comes on line each month.
    14 out of 18 provinces are already hostile for the ‘insurgents’. They are loaded with finks; finks with cell phones.
    These numbers imply that the new Iraqi Army is no more than 25% of its planned combat power.
    The Israelies have long had a policy of real estate ‘renewal’ wherever and whenever a loci of terrorism is uncovered. Using bulldozers they increase neighborhood parking.
    The American variant is to tidy up with smart bombs everytime an ammo dump is found in the living room. This has many advantages.
    Firstly, it must encourage landlords to be much more circumspect about renting.
    Secondly, it sends an acoustic message throughout the ville: this is what a smart bomb looks and sounds like.
    Thirdly, it might just snag some insurgents trying to recover some of their goodies.
    Fourthly, it leaves a semi-permanent calling card for friend and foe; much better than a ‘death card’.
    Fifthly, it helps keep the locals occupied. Clearly they have too much time on their hands. A fresh divot must be a pleasant distraction from roadside excavation.
    Sixthly, it relieves pilot boredom. We need to keep the Air Force sharp and in the fight.

  • DaveK says:

    This whole process is a lot like a freight train… Unfortunately, this particular train was stopped on a siding, on the steepest part of a long mountain grade, in the dead of winter.

    It was a real challenge to even get it moving, and the ice on the tracks meant the train seemed to slip backwards 2 feet every time it made a yard of progress. But it finally got moving, gained a little momentum, and made its long, arduous climb to the pass…

    Which is where we seem to be now: The train is gaining speed, and will soon be nigh impossible to stop, short of jumping the tracks.

    A new version of The Little [Iraqi] Engine that Could.


  • TallDave says:

    Looks like even the war opponents are being forced to recognize that the training of the Iraqis is succeeding. We’re not hearing “no exit strategy” or “quagmire” as much anymore. The new meme seems to be “debacle” and “things will go to hell as soon as we leave.”

  • leaddog2 says:

    Moore, Kerry and Kennedy do not say much now. The really stupid ones like Pelosi, Boxer, Dean and Gore do, but their America and self-hatred is too blantant for them to do otherwise.

  • leaddog2 says:

    a typo “blatant” .. I forgot Biden, but that is easy to do. I have NEVER seen an encouraging word for the military from any of them.

  • leaddog2 says:

    I chose NOT to link to the recent comments from Boxer and Feingold at the International Relations committee hearing on Iraq’s troops, etc. I do not want to make you vomit.

  • John says:

    Did anyone here watch Band of Brothers ? Raw american troops hit the shores of Normandy with barely a month of training yet within 6 months they were beating back the German elite panzer units during the battle of the Bulge. It doesn’t take long to acquire combat experience and competence especially with the world’s greatest military by your side – a luxury WW2 veterans didn’t enjoy. The leftists don’t understand that one learns best by doing since all their time is spent on self indulgent mental exercises. The insurgents fates were sealed on the 1st Tuesday in November 2004.

  • Soldier's Dad says:

    “The Iraqi Army is only 100,000, expect it to build to 250,000”
    Actually, the projected number is for the Army to grow to roughly 135,000. The other 135,000 will be police. Armies patrol in platoons, police patrol in pairs.


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