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I very seldom forward these things, but some folks here may be interested-

 

----------------

Gentlemen,

 

   I thought you would enjoy reading this short speech by the 1st

Cavalry Division Commander concerning his Division's role in Iraq.

 

Respectfully,

 

Steve,

 

 

Stephen P. Riley

Colonel, USA Retired

Executive Director

Army War College Foundation, Inc.

 

-----Original Message-----

Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2005 9:15 AM

Subject: 1st CAV DIV Commander's Comments

 

Gen Link -- thanks for sharing -- good to read the unabridged version

 

 

Subject: Division Commander's Lessons Learned

 

UNCLASSIFIED

 

Subject: Fw: [VHFCN] Real news from Iraq

 

At an AUSA dinner last night at the Ft. Hood Officers' Club MG Pete

Chiarelli, CG of the 1st Cav Div shared the following. He and most of the Div. have just returned from Iraq. Very informative and, surprise, the Mainstream Media (MSM) isn't telling the story.

 

It was not a speech per se. He just walked and talked, showed some slides and answered questions. Very impressive guy.

 

1. While units of the Cav served all over Iraq, he spoke mostly of Baghdad and more specifically Sadr City, the big slum on the eastern side of theTigeris River. He pointed out that Baghdad is, in geography, is about the size of Austin. Austin has 600,000 to 700,000 people. Baghdad has 6 to7 million people.

 

2. The Cav lost 28 main battle tanks. He said one of the big lessons

learned is that, contrary to doctrine going in, M1-A2s and Bradleys are

needed, preferred and devastating in urban combat and he is going to make that point to the JCS next week while they are considering downsizing armor.

 

3. He showed a graph of attacks in Sadr City by month. Last Aug-Sep they

were getting up to 160 attacks per week. During the last three months, the graph had flatlined at below 5 to zero per week.

 

4. His big point was not that they were "winning battles" to do this but

that cleaning the place up, electricity, sewage, water were the key

factors. He said yes they fought but after they started delivering

services that the Iraqis in Sadr City had never had, the terrorist

recruiting of 15 and 16 year olds came up empty.

 

5. The electrical "grid" is a bad, deadly joke. Said that driving down the street in a Hummv with an antenna would short out a whole block of apt. buildings. People do their own wiring and it was not uncommon for early morning patrols would find one or two people lying dead in the street,having been electrocuted trying to re-wire their own homes.

 

6. Said that not tending to a dead body in the Muslum culture never

happens. On election day, after suicide bombers blew themselves up trying to take out polling places, voters would step up to the body lying there, spit on it, and move up in the line to vote.

 

7. Pointed out that we all heard from the media about the 100 Iraqis

killed as they were lined up to enlist in the police and security service. What the media didn't point out was that the next day there 300 lined up in the same place.

 

8. Said bin Laden and Zarqawi made a HUGE mistake when bin laden went

public with naming Zarqawi the "prince" of al Quaeda in Iraq. Said that

what the Iraqis saw and heard was a Saudi telling a Jordainan that his job was to kill Iraqis. HUGE mistake. It was one of the biggest factors in getting Iraqis who were on the "fence" to jump off on the side of the

coalition and the new gov't.

 

9. Said the MSM was making a big, and wrong, deal out of the religious

sects. Said Iraqis are incredibly nationalistic. They are Iraqis first and then say they are Muslum but the Shi'a - Sunni thing is just not that big a deal to them.

 

10. After the election the Mayor of Baghdad told him that the people of

the region (Middle East) are joyous and the governments are nervous.

 

11. Said that he did not lose a single tanker truck carrying oil and gas

over the roads of Iraq. Think about that. All the attacks we saw on TV

with IEDs hitting trucks but he didn't lose one. Why? Army Aviation.

Praised his air units and said they made the decision early on that every convoy would have helicopter air cover. Said aviators in that unit were hitting the 1,000 hour mark (sound familiar?). Said a covoy was supposed to head out but stopped at the gates of a compound on the command of an E6. He asked the SSG what the hold up was. E6 said, "Air, sir." He wondered what was wrong with the air, not realizing what the kid was talking about. Then the AH-64s showed up and the E6 said, "That air sir." And then moved out.

 

12. Said one of the biggest problems was money and regs. There was a $77

million gap between the supplemental budget and what he needed in cash on the ground to get projects started. Said he spent most of his time trying to get money. Said he didn't do much as a "combat commander" because the the war he was fighting was a war at the squad and platoon level. Said that his NCOs were winning the war and it was a sight to behold.

 

13. Said that of all the money appropriated for Iraq, not a cent was

earmarked for agriculture. Said that Iraq could feed itself completely and still have food for export but no one thought about it. Said the Cav

started working with Texas A&M on ag projects and had special hybrid seeds sent to them through Jordan. TAM analyzed soil samples and worked out how and what to plant. Said he had an E7 from Belton, TX (just down the road from Ft. Hood) who was almost single-handedly rebuilding the ag industry in the Baghdad area.

 

14. Said he could hire hundreds of Iraqis daily for $7 to $10 a day to

work on sewer, electric, water projects, etc. but that the contracting

rules from CONUS applied so he had to have $500,000 insurance policies in place in case the workers got hurt. Not kidding. The CONUS peacetime regs slowed everything down, even if they could eventually get waivers for the regs.

 

There was more, lots more, but the idea is that you haven't heard any of

this from anyone, at least I hadn't and I pay more attention than most.

Great stuff. We should be proud. Said the Cav troops said it was ALL worth it on Jan. 30 when they saw how the Iraqis handled Election Day. Made them very proud of their service and what they had accomplished.

 

UNCLASSIFIED

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