An email from Iraq….

Although I talk about time winding down here, I always remember the old saying, it’s not over till it’s over. I keep that saying from the movie “The Untouchables” in my mind too. As Al Capone is on his way to prison, Elliot Ness says, “Never stop fighting till the fighting’s done”.

I will say that I am very proud of the Army and the Marines here, hah and even the Air Force too. And the Navy is doing an excellent job, we’ve even got a Navy warrant officer attached to our unit over here. I will say that since I have been here the entire time never once did I think that we were doing more than just maintaining to keep the roads open for our own so they could maintain while Iraq just continued to be the same bad place.

But there is a glimmer of the possibility that it might stabilize given what’s going on with the surge. I was pretty skeptical at first too thinking, wow, nobody planned this out, there’s not nearly enough support mechanisms in place to handle it and it just seemed like a haphazard kind of last ditch effort, but I have seen some huge caches found, some unbelievable ones. I’m hearing of units being in areas where nobody has been before, where insurgents had free reign.

Well, I can say the noose is tightening around Baghdad, so we will wait and see. While I did brag about the success of the Marines to Papa from hearing from the Army Engineer LT that was attached to them, I will say that stabilizing Baghdad would be quite an amazing accomplishment in comparison with pretty much anywhere else considering the sectarian stuff in that area.

The noose indeed is tightening….

Michael Yon reports on Operation Arrowhead Ripper: Day One

The heat is intense for the enemy and for us. Soldiers, during any chance, would lay-down during the heat of day, and in complete body armor and helmets, fall asleep in the dirt. I took photos of course. Our guys are tough. The enemy in Baqubah is as good as any in Iraq, and better than most. That’s saying a lot. But our guys have been systematically trapping them, and have foiled some big traps set for our guys. I don’t want to say much more about that, but our guys are seriously outsmarting them. Big fights are ahead and we will take serious losses probably, but al Qaeda, unless they find a way to escape, are about to be slaughtered. Nobody is dropping leaflets asking them to surrender. Our guys want to kill them, and that’s the plan.

Blackfive has more on the surge including an interesting interview with General Odierno.

Bill Roggio has more on the Battle of Iraq.

Four days after the announcement of major offensive combat operations against al Qaeda in Iraq and its allies, the picture becomes clearer on the size and scope of the operation. In today’s press briefing, Rear Admiral Mark noted that the ongoing operation is a corps directed and coordinated offensive operation. This is the largest offensive operation since the first phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom ended in the spring of 2003.

Allahpundit at HotAir reports on the media’s main focus in the Battle of Baquba. They aren’t as interested in the progress as they are in the body count.

Confederate Yankee has more on the progress in Fallujah.