Caldwell: Baghdad security operation did not work
The New York Times:
BAGHDAD, Oct. 19 — The American-led crackdown on violence in Baghdad has not succeeded in quelling violence across the capital, and a new approach is needed, a military spokesman said today.It is extremely important that commanders honestly evaluate the policy they have enacted and share their assessments with both the U.S. and Iraqi public.
The spokesman, Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, said that the strategy of concentrating on a limited number of highly troubled neighborhoods had not succeeded in lowering the overall levels of sectarian violence in the city.
He said that American commanders were consulting with the Iraqi government on a change in plans.
General Caldwell said that the crackdown in Baghdad, which began this summer at the request of Mr. Maliki, had succeeded in calming its target areas. But sectarian killings rose elsewhere, he said, and more recently there have been signs that “terrorists and extremists” have returned to some of the cleared neighborhoods and their environs.
He said that American forces had recently returned to the Dora neighborhood in southeastern Baghdad, which had been held up as one of the prime successes of the crackdown.