Monday, November 19, 2007

4,000 new Iraqi troops ready

I guess this means that some of our troops will be coming home -- how will the Democrats spin it when that happens?

In the expanse of gray desert east of Baghdad, an Iraqi Army brigade marched Sunday in matching boots and uniforms with M-16 rifles slung over their shoulder, showing off their new formation to Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki.

The ceremony marked the first time an Iraqi brigade had made it to graduation as a fully trained and equipped unit, and Iraqi officials called it a milestone.

When a second brigade completes training, about 4,000 Iraqi soldiers will be added to Baghdad, freeing four Iraqi battalions to return home and fill holes left by a nearly yearlong campaign to secure the capital.

''This will increase the combat strength of the Iraqi Army throughout the country,'' said Lt. Gen. James Dubik, commander of the Multi-National Security Transition


At the end of the ceremony, Maliki declared himself, the government and Iraq a success, but warned the recruits:

''You have been taught the importance of the chain of command, you are not to be influenced in any way by any who are outside your chain of command,'' he said. ``Leave politics to politicians . . . you as military men, as soldiers, as heroes have the responsibility to protect the state so that all may live in peace whether they are in harmony or have differences.''