March 21, 2007

The surge is well underway in Iraq, and by some reports it’s already making a big difference. We contacted the blogosphere’s man-on-the-spot in Baghdad, Michael Yon, by satellite phone, and got his take on how things are going. Some important bits: The dispersal of troops out of big bases and into Iraqi neighborhoods has had a big impact — somewhat like the “community policing” approach in New York and elsewhere — and is generating a lot more intelligence and assistance from ordinary Iraqis. “Just being there makes a huge difference,” says Yon. But don’t expect overnight results: “The surge itself will go on well past summer,” and it’ll be Fall before we can tell if the trends are good or bad.

Listen to the whole thing — he’s also got some interesting takes on changing tactics and changing press coverage. You can stream the file by going here and clicking on the gray Flash player, or you can download the file directly by clicking right here. There’s a lo-fi version suitable for dialup here — select the lo-fi version — and, of course, you can subscribe for free via iTunes. Is that a deal, or what?

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