Factual · Powerful · Original · Iconoclastic
The MSM, sitting on their fat butts in comfy offices in the U.S., would have us think Iraq is a tumbling house of cards. Oddly enough, journalists who go over there seem to have a different opinion. Among them is Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, whose March 17 column is "Fighting Smarter In Iraq." He agrees that for a long time we fought dumb in Iraq but, "Three years on, the U.S. military is finally becoming adept at fighting a counterinsurgency war in Iraq."
"I had a chance to see the new counterinsurgency doctrine in practice here this week," he wrote. "U.S. troops are handing off to the Iraqi army a growing share of the security burden. As the Iraqis step up, the Americans are stepping back into a training and advisory role."
Writes Ignatius, "A brutal stress test came on Feb. 22, when Sunni insurgents destroyed a revered Shiite mosque in Samarra. For a moment, Iraq seemed to be slipping toward civil war, but the Iraqi army performed surprisingly well. In many areas Iraqi forces -- backed up by overwhelming U.S. firepower -- helped restore order."
Ignatius concludes with the obvious, that he's only able to see so much of the war himself and "wouldn't pretend" it's "an accurate representation of the whole of Iraq. If that were so, the country wouldn't be in such a mess. But this is the way this war is supposed to be going. It's a few years late, but the new U.S. strategy is moving in the right direction."
I'll be going back to Iraq myself in early April with my primary mission being to observe the efficiency of the handoff to the Iraqi Security Forces. Unlike Ignatius, I'll actually be patrolling with the troops, both U.S. and Iraqi. I, too, will only be able to provide snapshots of what I see and hear; but my snapshots should prove interesting indeed.