"It's kind of like what Lou Holtz said when he coached Notre Dame football – we're not where we want to be, we're not where we need to be, but thank goodness we're not where we used to be." – Lt. General Frank Helmick
Where the US used to be in Iraq wasn’t pretty. Sectarian violence had exploded into what was essentially a civil war. Yet, through perseverance, policy changes, and plain old good luck, the situation today is dramatically different. Violence is down, and attitudes are perking up. But, in April, insurgents detonated a series of deadly reminders that they are still in business. And politically and economically Iraq is still pedaling with US training wheels. So, American forces can expect more than a few speed bumps on the long road out of Baghdad.
President Obama wants American boots out of Iraq, but that means Baghdad needs to stand on its own two feet. America Abroad visits Iraq to explore the state of Iraqi security forces and shines a light on the challenge of providing the electricity needed to power an economy and promote stability.
Executive Producer: Aaron Lobel / AAM Producers: Monica Bushman, Sean D. Carberry, Matt Ozug, Monica Villavicencio and Chris Williams / Interns: Megan Nemeh, Nadia Shairzay and Ann Thomas / Photo credit: Sean Carberry.
Ray Suarez investigates the state of the Iraqi Security Forces.
Guests: Lt. Colonel Michael Mammay, Task Force 4-27 Field Artillery; Lt. Brett Welner, a platoon leader in Blackjack Company in Arab Jabour; Lt. General Frank Helmick, I Control MNSTC-I; Retired Lt. General Jim Dubik, Commander of the Multinational Security Transition Command from June 2007 through July 2008; and Mowaffuk Al Rubaie, Iraqi National Security Advisor.
Ray Suarez looks back at the Bush Administration’s decision to change its strategy towards Iraq in 2007.
Guests: General Jack Keane; Meghan O’Sullivan, former Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan; Colonel Peter Mansoor, General David Petraeus’s former Executive Officer; and David Satterfield, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s advisor on Iraq.
Sean Carberry travels to Iraq to explore the challenges of providing electricity to power the Iraqi economy and promote stability in the country.
Guests: Fares Abu Jabar, a generator salesman in Iraq; Terry Barnich, Deputy Director of the Iraq Transition Assistance Office in the State Department; Tahseen Al Shakrey, spokesman for the Baghdad Security Plan; Raad Al Haz, of the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity.