Podcast on Iraq at Military.com

podcast-listennow.jpgI joined Ward Carroll, the Editor of Military.com, for his weekly podcast. We discussed how I first embedded in Iraq in 2005, the current situation in Iraq, the implication of the midterm election and what I think needs to be done to improve the security situation (hint: increase the number of troops to clean al Qaeda out of Ramadi & secure Baghdad, take on Sadr, increase the number of the adviser and put embedded military/police transition teams at the platoon level for every unit, and secure the borders, particularly with Iran.) Note: the interview was recorded on Wednesday so we did not discuss the troop increase or the deployment of the 15th MEU.

Click the podcast icon to listen.

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

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2 Comments

  • Anand Choudhuri says:

    Bill.
    This is how I believe we should handle Sadr. The Iraqi Army (backed by us but with them in the lead) should gradually pick away at the most extreme elements within Mahdi (allowing Sadr to quietly acquiesce). Most Iraqi Shia do not want a clash between Mahdi and the US military. They want both to work together to fight Salafi Jihadis, Baathists (and maybe Sunni Arab militia more generally.) The Iraqi Shia will turn on whoever is seen as instigating a fight between the US military and Mahdi. Therefore any fight between us and Sadr’s Mahdi must be “seen” to be clearly instigated by Sadr. Sadr would lose legitamacy and support among Iraqi Shia if this were to happen. Lincoln, following the same principle, let the South “start” the civil war.
    Much of Sadr’s recent popularity (and he has maybe 60% favorables–most of them prefer Maliki to Sadr–among Shia and is disliked by all other Iraqis) is a result of him recasting himself as a moderate and mature statesmen, working with his rivals (including America) to protect Shia and fix Iraq’s healthcare, education and other services. Muqtada wants to be reelected . . . and his reelection depends on how well he runs his five ministries–including education and health care. If we offer Sadr the prospect of more assistance to the health and education ministries . . . he is likely to negotiate with us to get it.
    Muqtada needs to be handled with the utmost care, caution and cunning. We cannot again underestimate his considerable political skill and talent.
    We also need to dramatically boost the MiTTS teams and American aid to the ISF, as you and Abezaid suggest. It is very important for Iraqis, Americans and the world that Iraqis are seen as fighting for and winning their own freedom and success. We need to facilitate the growth of self-reliant allies who regardless of what we Americans do, will take the fight to the enemy for reasons that have little to do with America.
    Everyone, what are your views on this?

  • //www.themoderatevoice.com/posts/1164344984.shtml

    While I have long admired Bill Roggio for being one of the very few peo…

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