YWT: "So, expectations, honestly, are low."
Click photo to play
ROSEMARY CHURCH: Well, the relentless violence is a sign of the difficulty facing U.S. and Iraqi forces as they try to secure the capital. The plan is a revised version of operations that have failed in the past.
Michael Ware joins us live from Baghdad with more. Michael, as this violence appears to be spinning out of control, how is this newly revised offensive, if you like, likely to reclaim the capital?
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we're yet to see if it is likely to reclaim the capital, Rosemary, but as you point out, this is essentially a mutation or evolution of past American-lead plans to reclaim the capital, Baghdad, from the death squads, militias, and insurgents who have it and its people in their grip.
What the American military and Iraqi security force partners are focusing on this time, as opposed to the past, is not just clearing controversial or contested areas, but holding them. In the past, the American plan was to hold these areas by passing them off to Iraqi counterparts. Well, that failed, largely because of the complicity of those counterparts in the death squads and the sectarian strife.
Now we're seeing additional U.S. forces used to hold those areas themselves and to force the Iraqis to operate together in newly coordinated command and control centers -- Rosemary.
CHURCH: Michael, an interesting distinction you make there. So U.S. forces clearing and holding these areas, that's what sets this offensive apart from those in the past. But what about Iraqis, what are they saying? What are their expectations of this?
WARE: Well, so far, Iraqi expectations are low. And to be honest, no one can blame this beleaguered population in the capital for expecting nothing but the worst. They have seen only an increase in violence and a decrease in the quality and safety of their lives for the past year or two.
So, expectations, honestly, are low. The truth they're waiting to see will be on the streets. And even American commanders warn not to expect any results overnight. This city is going to have to be clawed back block by block -- Rosemary.
CHURCH: All right. Michael Ware reporting there from Baghdad.
Thanks for that.