Daily photo posted to the US Forces – Iraq Flickr photostream:
Iraqi soldiers with 1st Battalion, 11th Brigade, 3rd Iraqi Army Division, conduct room clearance and urban operation training at Ghuzlani Warrior Training Center, Jan. 24, 2011. Iraqi battalions rotate through Ghuzlani in month-long training cycles as part of Tadreeb al Shamil, Arabic for All-Inclusive Training. The skills learned at GWTC prepare Iraqi troops and leadership for national defense operations and large scale military operations rather than focusing on counterinsurgency operations within cities. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Shawn Miller)
I think most readers here would understand the importance of this training, not just at a unit level but in terms of the strategic statement made. This photo could not have gone out five or six years ago.
And I say that, in all due respect to the progress made in Iraq, because five or six years ago, the military chain of command was just waking up to the powerful tool that social media offered. The Flickr page linked above, along with a YouTube channel, are parts of a “get the message out” campaign. The official US Forces-Iraq web page features all sorts of web 2.0 hooks (was Multi-National Forces-Iraq’s web page back in the day! Now you type in www.mnf-iraq.com and are redirected). Early on, proposals for such a campaign met with skepticism. Much of the same skepticism that met early mil-bloggers.
Look how far things, in Iraqi and here on the web, have come.