Soldiers Say Iraq Success Depends on Iraq

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As the new strategy for the region is put into place, soldiers said its success depends on the help the U.S. troops receive from their Iraqi counterparts in combatting sectarian violence in Baghdad.

"They really need to step it up. I really don't think they are stepping it up all the way," said Sgt. Gerald Stallings.

"Once we're around with the Iraqi army, they are willing to work and to do whatever you want, but as soon as you put them on their own, they are not willing to stay around and secure an area," said Sgt. 1st Class Brian Field.

American troops have been immersed in the middle of a sectarian war they find nearly impossible to comprehend. On today's mission the Apache Company, Task Force 1-23 Infantry went without their Iraqi counterparts to an area that has seen some of the worst sectarian violence.

The Huryea neighborhood of Baghdad is right on a Sunni-Shiite fault line, and because of intense sectarian fighting in the area, most of the residents have simply abandoned their homes.

One man who decided to stay said, "It's a good neighborhood … but there has been so much shooting."

Some soldiers have their doubts whether putting more soldiers into this cauldron will make a difference.

Field said more soldiers will help, but it's dangerous to keep them in Iraq for more than a year at a time. "It is hard to keep your men focused for that long, and my job is to keep them alive," he said.

"More manpower is always good -- strength in numbers, but I don't know if that is going to be the answer," said Spc. Charles Rogers. "For all the troubles here we need a different policy overall -- might be a better idea than just more guys out here."

For what that policy should be, he suggested one from history. "Nixon did it. He started it back in the late '60s … early '70s -- he started withdrawing from Vietnam," said Rogers. "Why don't we start withdrawing our guys? Bring them back home and kind of wash our hands of the whole thing out here."

Today the soldiers visited an Iraqi police station that is supposed to be turned into a mini base for both U.S. and Iraqi forces. The police captain told ABC News he thought it was a good thing the U.S. is sending more troops, "because the American Army has better weapons," he said.

Looking around the area, though, one gets the sense these Iraqi forces may need more than better weapons to get the job done.

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