Charter Member of the Sub-Media

May 14, 2004

Letter From the Front « GWOT »

Thanks, Rae, for sharing this with us.


As you all probably know by now, we are turning Fallujah over to the Iraqis. This will give us an opportunity to focus on other areas, and hopefully to build a new Iraqi Army with some of the folks that are feeling alienated right now. We're all painfully aware of the various issues associated with this move, but there's no point in discussing them. We'll make this work, just like we make everything else work to the best of our ability. The Marines fought hard in Fallujah and took a lot of very evil people out of the fight. That effort, and the associated loss of Marine lives, was not in vain. We're already seeing a significant decrease in the enemy's ability to attack our forces. The supply lines are open again and everything is flowing freely through the country. Their efforts to cut us of in order to break our willpower failed. The Iraqi people are tired of the enemy and they are turning them over to us left and right.

This is an important development.

The two biggest problems in the Rebuilding of Iraq are:
1) The news media, in looking for a story (to give them the benefit of the doubt), are emphasizing the negative aspects, both from a basic ignorance of military matters and because "Another Hospital Treats 5000 People Without Interruption", "Another Length of Power-Transmission Lines Strung", and "Another Water/Waste Treatment Plant Opened" doesn't really sell newspapers
2) The Iraqis have done an absolutely horrible job of keeping security themselves.

Number two is vital. We will probably keep bases in Iraq for several years...if they let us. The location is very strategically significant: right between Syria, Iran, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia. Plus, if we can keep troops there once Iraq is stable and autonomous, we can help ensure Iraq remains stable and autonomous by being on hand to prevent a war on/with the Kurds, a war between Sunnis/Shias, an invasion by Iran, or someone trying to set themselves up as the next Saddam.

It's been a few weeks since we said we'd speed up the process of determining "clean" Ba'athists and letting them go back to work. Since they represent experience, education, and training for vital security and infrastructure functions, I said at the time that it was probably a good idea. I haven't seen a single report of problems yet, and the Fallujah Brigade (the Iraqi military force that actually may have co-opted some of the most moderate insurgent members) seems to be doing a fairly good job. Maybe all we needed was for the Marines to engage and kill the worst of them?

I don't know. I know we aren't out of the woods yet. Muqtada al-Sadr's star is waning rapidly; he'll be dead or discredited within weeks, I think. The intense insurgent activities of Fallujah haven't spread to other cities, despite doomsayers who said things were on the verge of collapse. I trust Ben, because his info matches exactly what I hear coming out of there.

There's hope.

(Link via Zombyboy

Posted by Nathan at 02:11 PM | Comments (0)