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July 19, 2006

"Broken Windows" Community policing... Iraq style.

If the "Broken Windows" referent was meaningless to you - click here. That advanced degree in CrimJust doncha know. Some things *did* stick.

MND-B, Iraqi government clean up Baghdad
By Spc. Rodney Foliente
4th Inf. Div. PAO

BAGHDAD — Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldiers, in coordination with local Iraqi governments, continue their efforts in Operation Baghdad is Beautiful, which is a joint operation aimed at helping to restore and improve Baghdad through the removal of trash, debris and barrier materials. A recent milestone in the operation occurred Wednesday with the completion of a monthlong project to clean up the Karada Peninsula.

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BAGHDAD – Baghdad Soldiers, in coordination with local Iraqi governments, continue their efforts in Operation Baghdad is Beautiful, which is aimed at helping to restore and improve Baghdad through the removal of trash, debris and barrier materials.

The Department of Cleaning for the municipality of Karada played a large role in the process and was primarily responsible for cleaning the main streets of the peninsula, said 1st Lt. Jared Miller, a resident of Asheville, N.C., and effects coordinator, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, who has been pivotal in efforts to beautify and revitalize the Karada Peninsula. The local government was impeded from performing routine cleaning on many secondary streets due to large non-negotiable barriers and masses of debris.

The responsibility for facilitating the removal of unnecessary barriers on both secondary and main streets, as well as disposing of huge piles of accumulated rubbish and debris, fell to the MND-B Soldiers of the 4th BCT, said Miller.

In an effort to both clean up the area and help bolster the local economy, MND-B hired local contractors to conduct the work, he added. The brigade’s main task laid in assessing what needed to be done, providing security while the work was being carried out, and then verifying that the contractors performed their duties to standard, he said.

It was important to clean and clear up all of the roads to help facilitate the handing over of security responsibility for the Karada Peninsula to the Iraqi police, said Miller. The completion of the operation not only provides an improved platform from which to govern, but will also help the local government to police the area.

“Cleaning up (the streets) also opens up traffic flow and makes it easier for the (Iraqi Security Forces) to respond to any (situations) that arise,” said Miller. “(Operation) Baghdad is Beautiful helps the population by cleaning the neighborhoods to give them more pride in their community,” he said.

The municipality of the Karada Peninsula will take over the responsibility for keeping the streets of the area clean, said Miller.

Throughout Baghdad , the process of bringing back the beauty of the city continues, said Lt. Col. Tris Cooper, reconstruction officer, civil military operations, 16th Engineer Brigade, attached to MND-B.

There are approximately 50 such projects completed to date, with an approximate $6 million price tag paid from the MND-B Commander’s Emergency Response Fund. The CERP is an appropriation approved by the United States government that enables commanders to respond to urgent humanitarian relief and reconstruction requirements within their areas of operations by identifying needs, then originating and paying for programs designed to immediately assist the local populace, said Cooper.

“(Civil Affairs’) main focus is to work with the (Iraqi government) to help them coordinate their essential services with (Iraqi) contractors and personnel to rebuild their infrastructure and help their own people,” said Staff Sgt. Sean Dowdy, a resident of Deerlodge, Mont., who serves as a civil affairs noncommissioned officer, Company B, 414th Civil Affairs Battalion, attached to 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th BCT.

“When other districts see what can be done, they will want to get more involved with similar projects,” continued Dowdy. “If you can demonstrate success in one area, it’s easier to convince other areas that the project can be done.
“Civil Affairs is a very important part of stability in the lives of the Iraqi citizens and they seem to appreciate the help. I am glad to be a part of it.”