General David Petraeus, CENTCOM commander and former commanding general of Multinational Force-Iraq, addressed the Heritage Foundation in October on the ideas underpinning the Surge.
The only way to secure the population is by living with them. You cannot secure the people of a neighborhood from a large base by driving through it a couple of times a day and returning to that large base. You have to locate with them, you have to share risk with them—and this in partnership with Iraqi forces. …
Between the period of December 2006 and August 2007, a very dramatic reduction in sectarian violence took place in Baghdad.
That came about because our forces went into those areas, tried to sit on the violence, to stabilize it, to bring it down, to go after the bad guys, to promote local reconciliation, and then to start to deal with some of the other conditions in there in terms of markets, local commerce, and local governance.
Topics include strategic communications, detainee policy, training missions, population security, reconciliation. This talk is an excellent review of the past and overview of the situation in Iraq today. Read the whole thing. Here is the transcript and here are the slides. Via Joe Katzman at Winds of Change.