Please go to the World Blog to read more from NBC correspondents in Iraq and around the world.
The new blog will feature the best NBC correspondents and producers from the Mideast region and elsewhere, offering unique insights and analysis on breaking news and trends from Beijing to Beirut and beyond.
As Richard Engel, NBC News Middle East Correspondent and a frequent contributor to Blogging Baghdad explains, "Expanding Blogging Baghdad makes total sense and is completely appropriate. Just as the war in Iraq is expanding beyond the borders, I think the way we cover the war in Iraq must think beyond the confines of the borders of this country."
So, please bookmark the new link and continue to read and respond through comments to the new blog. The link to Blogging Baghdad will remain active as an archive of the blogs from the last year, but all future posts from Baghdad will appear in the World Blog.
Thanks, Petra Cahill, World Blog editor.
The dangers are repeatedly mentioned. Iraqis working for Western organizations here face extreme risk of being abducted and murdered. They also cope with the daily unpredictability of getting to work in a city rife with suicide bombings, roadside bombs, mortar fire, militia-run checkpoints and reprisal killings.
As I've learned more about the ordeals of our local staff members, I've at least been reassured by the fact that the decent, Western pay most earn has allowed many of them to get their families to safer places outside of Baghdad. But like most everything else here, even that small consolation is elusive.
Surge...escalation...plus-up... Whatever you call the "new way forward," when it comes to increasing U.S. troop levels and adjusting their mission, the Bush administration's new plan for Iraq takes a number of pages from an already familiar playbook. Are you ready for this? Afghanistan.
That's right, we have come full circle. The template didn't even begin to work in "the other war" until well into 2006 -- because it was so overshadowed by events in Iraq. Now the same ideas will be tried in an attempt to salvage a situation, in Iraq, that many analysts already see as unwinnable.
Fatin Abid Muslim stirs a lump of lamb stewing on the stove. What does she want most for herself and her family? "Aman," is her one word response, meaning "security."
It's a word you hear a lot here now. She says she can deal with the hardship, the lack of water, electricity, and the rising prices -- but she's constantly fearful about her husband and five sons.
Her husband is a driver for a Baghdad hotel, a job that puts him constantly in harm's way. Streets are often blocked by militia checkpoints, car bombs targeting police and military vehicles.
It's not much better for her four children who still attend school. She says she shudders every time she hears the pop of gunfire or the rumble of a bomb -- daily occurrences here.
Shalaan Abdul Zahra, her husband, dismisses more American troops as the answer. "There are already more than 130,000 American soldiers here. And bringing in more tells the terrorists you're weak."
He suggests ramping up the training of Iraqi forces, so they can assume all security needs -- and "kick out the foreign fighters." What if more Americans come? "It will cost them more in lives and money," he said.
That’s just one opinion from the Iraqi Shiite street. Security may be the goal, but the means of achieving it remain agonizingly elusive.
- Life beyond the violence
Suicide attacks and murders due to sectarian conflict continue around Iraq. See how residents live their lives amid the attacks.