Ameriyah neighborhood in Baghdad shows effect of "Together Forward"


Since the beginning of Operation Together Forward, Baghdad’s Ameriyah neighborhood has seen several social and economic improvements as the Iraqi Army and Multi-National Division – Baghdad forces work to rid the area of terrorist violence.

The combined military operations in the area include a variety of civil service projects, such as a large-scale trash cleanup, medical services, and establishing a generally close working relationship with local residents – all of which serve to deter further terrorist attacks.

“Many of the shops that were once closed have reopened, such as a butcher shop and a bakery,” said Staff Sgt. John Davis, of Company A, 412th Civil Affairs Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Multi-National Division – Baghdad. “Main roads in the neighborhood are starting to look and feel like a neighborhood again, and economic activity and employment have increased since the beginning of the operation.”


“The residents are quite accustomed to Coalition Forces’ presence in the area,” said Spc. Zachary Gray, Troop G, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 2nd BCT, who works as a security escort in Ameriyah. “The civilian population is not hostile to our intentions despite the necessity of blocking off roads and enforcing a curfew. During the day, Ameriyah is extremely busy.”

As of Thursday, Iraqi Security Forces and MND-B cleared more than 55,500 buildings, 60 mosques and 50 muhallas, detained more than 90 terrorist suspects, seized more than 1,200 weapons, registered more than 780 weapons and found 33 weapons caches. The combined forces also replaced more than 1,100 doors, 35 windows and 1,350 locks damaged during clearing operations, and removed more than 110,000 cubic meters of trash from the streets of Baghdad.
It sounds a little like Rudy Guliani's broken window policy that helped turn New York around. Little things can make a difference in a neighborhood and also point out were the problems are. The mischeif of a few can loom large when they are not restricted or removed. This program also demonstrates the effect of a high force to space ration in containing an organization that relies on a raiding strategy like the terrorist in Iraq.


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