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The Iraq Report II

The Baghdad Security Plan begins.

3:50 PM, Mar 15, 2007 • By KIMBERLY KAGAN
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This report, the second in a series, describes the purpose, course, and results of Coalition operations in Baghdad during the first three weeks of Operation Enforcing the Law (also known as the Baghdad Security Plan), from General Petraeus' assumption of command on February 10, 2007, through March 5. It describes the flow of American and Iraqi forces into Baghdad; American and Iraqi command relationships; the efforts of those forces to prepare positions and develop intelligence in critical neighborhoods; the limited clearing operations that the forces already in Baghdad have conducted; and operations against the so-called Mahdi army, or Jaysh al Mahdi, in Baghdad. It describes and evaluates the apparent responses of the Jaysh al Mahdi and al Qaeda to these preparations and early operations, and highlights some of the differences between this operation and last year's offensives in Baghdad, Operations Together Forward I and II.

The Iraq Report will be published at approximately every two weeks, and will chronicle and analyze ongoing coalition military operations both in Baghdad and throughout Iraq. The first edition,

To download the complete report in PDF form, click here.


Previous Iraq Reports:

Iraq Report I: From "New Way Forward" to New Commander, March 1, 2007

Editor's note: This version of the Iraq report does not contain the images and footnotes that can be found in the pdf. You can download the complete document here.


President Bush announced an increase in U.S. forces in Baghdad on January 10, 2007, in his "New Way Forward" speech. The mission of U.S. troops in Iraq would be "to help Iraqis clear and secure neighborhoods, to help them protect the local population, and to help ensure that the Iraqi forces left behind are capable of providing the security that Baghdad needs."1 Military commanders convert the president's goals into a concrete hierarchy of military objectives and tasks. Although U.S. forces attempted to clear and secure neighborhoods in Baghdad at intervals in summer and fall 2006, General George Casey's priority was turning the responsibility for security over to Iraqi forces as quickly as possible.2 The goal of securing the population of Iraq, particularly Baghdad, is now paramount in American strategy.

Command Structure and Organization

A new command team is executing the president's policy. General David Petraeus replaced General Casey as the commander of Multi-National Forces - Iraq on February 10, 2007. General Petraeus has overall responsibility for accomplishing the security, training, and reconstruction missions in Iraq. He requests troops for Iraq through the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), which oversees U.S. forces throughout the Middle East. Admiral William Fallon is replacing General John Abizaid as CENTCOM commander on March 16, 2007. General Petraeus and Admiral Fallon advise the president about the forces required to accomplish the goals the president has set for U.S. forces in Iraq. General Petraeus also integrates military activities with those of civilian U.S. government departments and agencies in Iraq, especially the U.S. Mission in Iraq (where Ambassador Ryan Crocker will soon replace Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad). Lieutenant General Raymond Odierno has served as the commander of Multi-National Corps - Iraq since December 14, 2006. General Odierno oversees military operations throughout Iraq. When U.S. forces are allocated to Iraq, General Odierno determines which units flow into Baghdad. He also decides how to allocate resources to other Iraqi provinces.