U.S. General Says Outposts Boost Baghdad Security

Maj. Gen. Joseph Fil

Army Maj. Gen. Joseph Fil is the U.S. commander in charge of Baghdad. David Furst/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption David Furst/AFP/Getty Images

Four years into the war in Iraq, the biggest security challenges — car bombs and sectarian violence — remain largely unchanged. U.S. and Iraqi units are setting up military outposts around Baghdad to reduce those threats.

Maj. Gen. Joseph Fil, the American commander in charge of Baghdad's security, that residents near the outposts are pleased with the new measures.

"Security has been improved, and people can get back to the business of life and not having to worry about getting in and out of their cars, going to market ... . " Fil tells Renee Montagne. "But we've got a ways to go and we're really just on the front edge of this thing."

He says that U.S. and Iraqi security forces have transformed Baghdad's markets into pedestrian zones to prevent devastating car bomb attacks that have killed scores of civilians in recent months.

But he acknowledges that "it's nearly impossible to make something totally invulnerable. And the tactics will change, the locations will change and the techniques will change. We're very much working with the Iraqis to try and anticipate that."

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