The primary military mission in Iraq is to create and Iraqi Army so we can leave. The 2005 elections were a success in that they formed a government, which is not moving on reconciliation fast enough, but it will be the Army that the US Military created that will in the end be the key factor in how Iraq eventually emerges form all this. Hopefully corruption will fade as the focus from security goes from being the priority to a defacto state of affairs and the military/police/government can then focus on governing and pumping oil and growing beans in that huge area between the rivers known as the fertile crescent. Iraq has amazing resources and we have given them an incredible opportunity. It is about them not us now and has been for a year in my opinion.
http://heyetnet.org/en/content/view/2308/27/ the bicycle bomb article, 2007.
the small village of Balaruz has about 85,000 people around it, I never counted them but figure that is about right
Okinawa Japan is about 500 square miles out AO was around 1500 Square miles! We had 144 or so in our company.