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Progress in Iraq

Optimism in Iraq: Gains In Security, Solvency, and Stability

Could this be the good news from Iraq that we've been waiting for? After five years of struggle, Iraq may be holding the line on two major fronts: al-Qaeda and its finances. The positive news is buoyed this morning by the report that Iraq may agree to a timetable for US withdrawal.

Here's what's happening: American and Iraqi troops appear to be in the midst of driving al-Qaeda from their last stronghold in Northern Iraq in what's being called, "one of the most spectacular victories of the war on terror." Operation Lion's Roar (possibly the best title ever) combined Iraqi and US forces to capture more than 1,000 suspects. It was thought that nearly 1,200 al-Qaeda soldiers remained in a final stand in the northern city of Mosul, down from a previous force of nearly 12,000 in May.

Though it might be premature to call a victory over the Sunni-led terrorist group, they are confident through the mission that al-Qaeda has now been forced to operate in the desolate and remote regions of the Iraq countryside, and the reduced violence has led some to be comfortable enough to spend time outside, like this tike at an amusement park in Baghdad. Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced over the weekend that his government has "defeated" terrorism.

To see how Iraq's piggy bank is about to get some relief as well,


Economically, Iraq can breathe a sigh of relief as the United Arab Emirate has agreed to forgive the $4 billion in debt owed to them. This may be the first in a series of warming trends among Sunni controlled Middle Eastern states to welcome their Shiite-controlled neighbor.

Since the invasion and occupation of Iraq by US-led troops and the following take-over by a Shiite controlled government, many Sunni nations were suspicious of the Al-Maliki government. Compounded by the continual bombing, kidnapping, and killing of diplomats, forced many embassies in the nation to close. However, with the decline of violence, President Al-Maliki has reprimanded his Arab “brothers” for being so slow to return. He said he found it “difficult to explain why diplomatic exchange has not taken place.” Adding that, “Many foreign countries have kept their diplomatic missions in Baghdad and did not make security excuses.”

Do you think these bits of good news signal an overall trend toward success? Is the situation in Iraq on it's way to stability and resolution?


Join The Conversation
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
Why does what the current administration has been doing inform us at all on what McCain would do? Or did I miss some comments in between?
stephley stephley 9 years
But the Administration has been signing long term contracts with companies to provide services in that country and did build a small sub-city for itself in Baghdad. It definitely has not planned on leaving any time soon - certainly not before the oil and oil money was securely flowing in our direction.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I think the isse we are missing is Iraq is at a point where they can begin to discuss this. We have NEVER said we would be in Iraq any longer than we needed to. We have always said we would be there until Iraq was able to take care of itself.
stephley stephley 9 years
Yeah, but what happens if Iraq sets the timeline Lauren, and the Administration doesn't want to abide by it?
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 9 years
even if there is a timeline, timelines can DEFINIETLY be amended. Hello, my husband was supposed to go for 12 months, then stayed 15. The army rarely follows timelines to begin with.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
Hold on, Iraq wants sovereignty? Of Iraq? I don't know if that was part of the original bargain.
stephley stephley 9 years
To me, Maliki's statements are the most important things coming out of Iraq right now. When he said something similar last month, reporters said the White House was 'caught off-guard'.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki raised the prospect on Monday of setting a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops as part of negotiations over a new security agreement with Washington. "Today, we are looking at the necessity of terminating the foreign presence on Iraqi lands and restoring full sovereignty," Maliki told Arab ambassadors in blunt remarks during an official visit to Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates. "One of the two basic topics is either to have a memorandum of understanding for the departure of forces or a memorandum of understanding to set a timetable for the presence of the forces, so that we know (their presence) will end in a specific time."
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
Maybe I'm misunderstanding your logic, jolie, but I fail to see how supporting a surge equates to supporting a time line.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
From my understanding, McCain doesn't favor a time line because they don't allow for the unforeseeable. He has always believed in the surge and in fact believed it should have happened long ago. However, he recognizes that circumstances can change and time lines can set unrealistic expectations.
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
Does McCain want a time line if this continues? If he believed in the surge you would imagine he would have mentioned the possibility of a time line. Yet in the debates with Mitt Romney he vehemently denied that route.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
"I would like to here the candidates response to this, and if it would change their plans in anyway." I don't think so. They want to stay if things are going bad, and stay if things are going well. No matter what the situation, the answer is to stay! ;)
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
Cine, try to snuggle up to Grady Sizemore; he's a gorgeous young Indians player. He has gotten a little bit of national attention, but not much. You're not married yet, right?
syako syako 9 years
and I shall always use "most funnest"
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
apparently you use "most fun" in formal correspondence since i do not consider commenting on sugar to be formal, i shall use "funnest"!
syako syako 9 years
syako syako 9 years
i believe the correct term is "most funnest"
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
is it in webster? I had no idea! I learn something new everyday.
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
Hmmmm..... I think funnier is a word but I do not think funnest is a word. I think you should make it a word. It it much more fun to say that most fun. JMO. :)
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Funnest is a word. Good to know...
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
I love working at events, I used to sell concert tshirts and it was one of the funnest jobs ever! Funnest is a word right? Funnest? Most fun?
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
Ha ha! No. I am not sure what I am going to be doing yet. I will find out this week. Hopefully some photography.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Are you gonna be a batgirl???
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
It is only for a week, but at least it is something.
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