raq War SITREP from Major General Guy Swan
MG Guy Swan – Former Blackhorse Commander
There are still a small number of attacks in Iraq, but they are often high casualty producing and high profile. We need to remember that this was normal about a year ago.
Thank you for your note and yes, we are making progress. Violence is significantly down and the Iraqi government just passed a security agreement with the US.
They all watched our recent presidential election as well. We were able to demonstrate to our Iraqi colleagues in this fledgling democracy how we peacefully hand over political power in the United States. No one in the world does it as well.
The Iraqis are not quite sure what to make of all this, but they do admire us as Americans when they see this exercise in liberty. They are preparing for their own provincial elections in January and have been worried about the potential for violence. Now they have seen how it can be done. Sunni-Shia, Arab-Kurd can be more deadly than Republican-Democrat – so now they know what a free and fair election is all about.
Secondly, the election did make the troops here feel needed and appreciated to know that they serve in our Armed Forces for this. We are proud to provide the kind of national defense that enables our families, neighbors, and communities to enjoy the freedoms we often take for granted. Not everyone in the world has it as good as Americans do – and it is worth defending.
As for President-elect Obama, I think he will do well. I do think, though, that he will be tested (as all of us will be in the coming months). He has to build a good team around him. Lots of challenges ahead.