Military history

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CAST OF CHARACTERS

2006

Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. Army educational establishment, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas

Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

Retired Gen. Jack Keane, former vice chief of staff, U.S. Army

Donald Rumsfeld, secretary of defense

Gen. John Abizaid, chief, Central Command, U.S. military headquarters for Mideast

Army Gen. George Casey, U.S. commander in Iraq

Army Col. Sean MacFarland, commander, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, operating primarily in Ramadi, Iraq

Fred Kagan, policy analyst, American Enterprise Institute

Tom Donnelly, defense expert, American Enterprise Institute

Nouri al-Maliki, prime minister of Iraq

Moqtada al-Sadr, head of the Sadr Trend and its militia, the Jaysh al-Mahdi

2007

Petraeus, promoted to full four-star general, succeeds Casey as top U.S. commander in Iraq

Robert Gates, replaces Rumsfeld

Adm. Michael Mullen, replaces Pace

Adm. William “Fox” Fallon, replaces Abizaid at Central Command and becomes Petraeus’s superior officer in the chain of command

Col. Bill Rapp, head of Commander’s Initiatives Group, Petraeus’s internal think tank

Lt. Col. Charles Miller, deputy director of Petraeus’s think tank, drafter of Petraeus’s memoranda to President Bush

Capt. Elizabeth McNally, writer and editor for Petraeus

Col. Pete Mansoor, executive officer to Petraeus

Sadi Othman, interpreter and cultural and political adviser to Petraeus David Kilcullen, counterinsurgency adviser to Petraeus

Maj. Gen. David Fastabend, director, strategic operations for Petraeus (in mid- 2007, succeeded by Maj. Gen. Michael Barbero)

Lt. Gen. James Dubik, chief of mission to train and advise Iraqi army and police

Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, commander III Corps, oversees day-to-day operations

Brig. Gen. Joseph Anderson, chief of staff for Odierno

Emma Sky, political and cultural adviser to Odierno

Col. Martin Stanton, chief of reconciliation for Odierno

III Corps planners: Col. Martin Wilson, Lt. Col. Jeff McDougall, Maj. James Powell, Maj. Kent Strader

Brig. Gen. John Allen, deputy commander, Marine Corps in Iraq

Ryan Crocker, U.S. ambassador to Iraq

2008

Lt. Gen. Lloyd Austin, succeeds Odierno

Col. Michael Bell, succeeds Rapp as head of Petraeus’s internal think tank

September: Odierno succeeds Petraeus as top American commander in Iraq

ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS

ACR—armored cavalry regiment

AO—area of operation

AOR—area of responsibility

AQI or AQIZ—Al Qaeda in Iraq; also known as “al Qaeda in Mesopotamia” or “al Qaeda in the Land of the Two Rivers” (“IZ” is U.S. military code for Iraq.)

Centcom—Central Command, the U.S. military headquarters for the Middle East

BCT—brigade combat team, or a brigade with attached units

BUA—battle update assessment, a daily overview meeting for senior commanders and staff, sometimes also called a BUB, for “battle update briefing”

CF—coalition forces; often used by American officials to refer to U.S., Iraqi, and British forces

CG—commanding general

CLC—Concerned Local Citizens, official U.S. term for local fighters, many of them former insurgents who changed sides and began to support the U.S. position, but not necessarily the Baghdad government; also known as ISVs, or Iraqi Security Volunteers; later euphemized as “Sons of Iraq”

COIN—counterinsurgency

COP—a U.S. military combat outpost

DoD—Department of Defense

EFP—explosively formed penetrator, also sometimes called explosively formed projectile; a particularly lethal kind of roadside bomb, or “IED”

FOB -forward operating base, the biggest U.S. bases in Iraq; compare COP

HMMWV—high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle; the modern U.S. military equivalent of the jeep; acronym usually pronounced “Humvee”

HUMINT—human intelligence

ID—infantry division

IP—Iraqi Police

IED—improvised explosive device, U.S. military term for a roadside bomb

ISF—Iraqi Security Forces (that is, Iraqi army and police)

ISR—intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance

IZ—International Zone, official name of the Green Zone, home of the U.S. headquarters, the Iraqi government, and many foreign embassies

JAM—Jaysh al-Mahdi, the militia of radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr; its personnel are occasionally referred to by U.S. personnel as “JAMsters”

JSS—joint security station, similar to a COP but jointly operated with Iraqi army or police

KIA—killed in action

MI—military intelligence

MNF—Multi-National Forces, also sometimes rendered as MNF-I, for MultiNational Forces-Iraq

NCO—non-commissioned officer (that is, a sergeant or a corporal)

NSC—National Security Council

PRT—Provincial Reconstruction Team

OIF—Operation Iraqi Freedom, U.S. military name for the Iraq war

QRF—quick reaction force

RoE—rules of engagement

RPG—rocket-propelled grenade

SIGINT—signals intelligence

SOF—Special Operations Forces

SOI—“Sons of Iraq”; see CLC

SVTC—secure video teleconference

TCN—third country national

UAV—unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone aircraft, often referring to the missile-equipped Predator

WMD—weapons of mass destruction

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