U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Says Highly-Touted Baghdad Security Crackdown is Not Succeeding

Sixty percent of violence in Iraq takes place in Baghdad. Following his visit to Iraq last month, President Bush trumpeted a major joint US-Iraqi effort to improve security in Baghdad. From a June 14 press conference:

The Prime Minister is taking immediate action to implement a plan to improve security and his top priority is around Baghdad. Operation Together Forward started this morning. This operation is a joint effort to restore security and rule of law to high-risk areas in the capital city. It will be carried by some 26,000 Iraqi soldiers, some 23,000 Iraqi police, backed up by over 7,200 coalition forces.

How is “Operation Forward Together” going? Yesterday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad addressed the question:

Q: Hello, Mr. Ambassador. So the security crackdown in Baghdad has been going on a
couple of weeks — what’s your assessment of how well is it going? Is it succeeding?

AMB. KHALILZAD: It has not produced the results I expected so far. The plan is being reviewed, and adjustments will be made. No, it has not performed to the level that was expected.

According to Army Col. Jeffrey Snow, “I think since we have started Operation Together Forward, you’ll find that the number of attacks are going up.”