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Back from Ramadi
By Michael Fumento
It seemed like a very short time that I was there, namely because it was. But I learned and gathered material as much as I could. My conclusion on the situation in Ramadi overall is that while I had been led to believe it was getting worse, it's probably actually getting somewhat better and there's every reason to believe this trend will continue as more and more Iraqi Army, Iraqi Police, and Combat Operation Posts are introduced. Moreover, the lesson to be learned here is that if the insurgents and terrorists can be defeated in Ramadi they can be defeated anywhere. The guerilla war is definitely winnable. The two greatest threats are lack of patience and the possibility that the sectarian fighting elsewhere (there's none in Ramadi because it's almost purely Sunni) will render the counterinsurgency effort moot. Yet even if that happens, the connections and friends we've made in Al Anbar province will serve us in a post-Iraq world. Al Qaeda wants the Sunni area of Iraq as a permanent base. No matter what happens, we've already put a dent in that ambition and we've laid the groundwork for denying them that base.
In coming days I will continue to post blogs on Ramadi, including some interesting video clips I obtained. (My own camcorder was destroyed in an irrigation ditch plunge.) I will also be posting a photo set. Watch this space.
October 17, 2006 11:22 AM · Iraq
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