View Full Version : Najaf...

12-03-2005, 10:42 AM
3 Dec. New York Times and Washington Post:

NYT - U.S. Goals for Iraqi Forces Meet Success and Challenges in Najaf (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/03/international/middleeast/03najaf.html).

Najaf and the surrounding region lie at the forefront of the Bush administration's plans to turn over security operations to Iraqi forces, earning a mention in the president's speech at the United States Naval Academy on Wednesday. By many measures, the thousands of Iraqi police officers and soldiers here have done well. They have prevented the devastating suicide bombings that have plagued Baghdad and other areas of Iraq. Attacks against Americans are rare, and American troops are steadily lowering their profile.

But even here, in the southern Shiite heartland that is largely free of sectarian tensions, the American enterprise still faces steep hurdles, ones that are more subtle but no less subversive than the Sunni-led insurgency.

Many of those blue-uniformed police officers are members of Shiite militias, including Mr. Sadr's Mahdi Army, which battled American troops here last year. Political rivalries occasionally erupt into violence, as when the Mahdi Army clashed with another militia in August. Corruption and kidnappings remain a problem, officials say, as does politically motivated crime...

WP - Leaving Najaf, One Step at a Time (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/02/AR2005120201824.html).

To find the U.S. troops responsible for security in this southern Iraqi city, leave Najaf, head for the desert and drive for 40 minutes. The troops are out there at an isolated base, while Iraqi policemen and soldiers patrol the city.

Najaf is touted by the U.S. military here as a potential model for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq: Get the American soldiers off the streets and pull them back to bases outside the cities until things are quiet enough for them to leave for good...

12-03-2005, 07:18 PM
From this week's Advisor:

NAJAF, Iraq – Nestled between a bustling city thoroughfare and an all-girl elementary school stand two recently renovated Iraqi Police stations, providing more than 250 police officers a safe vantage point for serving and protecting local citizens.

The improvements were done through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Gulf Region Division, which works on small scale but essential projects like schools, clinics and police stations along with larger projects like power and water treatment plants.

On a recent site inspection to the Najaf police stations U.S. Army Col. Richard Stevens, GRD deputy commander met resident police officers while touring the sites. “This station is a prime example of Iraqi Security Forces having the facilities to increasingly take the lead in transferring security responsibilities to civil authority,” said Stevens.

The police chief, Iraqi Maj. Hakim was pleased with the results of the renovations. Kam said the improvements make him and his officers feel safer in the stations.

U.S. Army Maj. William Smith, Najaf-Karbala resident engineer and liaison officer, served as the tour escort. He is a member of the 35th Engineer Brigade, a Missouri Army National Guard unit currently augmenting the Gulf Region South.

The two police units occupying the renovated facilities are crucial to the citizens of Najaf, Smith said. “One is a police traffic checkpoint unit that controls ‘Route Miami’ … a key roadway and the other is an investigation unit that handles homicides, burglaries and such,” Smith said. The renovated stations also represent a visible sign of authority to the community, Smith said. “Through these renovations we are giving the Iraqi Police of Wafa District something they can be proud to be a part of,” Smith said. “Our theory is to treat them with respect and they, in turn, will generate respect.”
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