Sunday, August 19, 2007

The sergeants speak

Six sergeants and one infantryman with the 82nd Airborne, near the end of their deployment in Iraq, have written an opinion piece published this morning in the New York Times

VIEWED from Iraq at the tail end of a 15-month deployment, the political debate in Washington is indeed surreal. Counterinsurgency is, by definition, a competition between insurgents and counterinsurgents for the control and support of a population. To believe that Americans, with an occupying force that long ago outlived its reluctant welcome, can win over a recalcitrant local population and win this counterinsurgency is far-fetched. As responsible infantrymen and noncommissioned officers with the 82nd Airborne Division soon heading back home, we are skeptical of recent press coverage portraying the conflict as increasingly manageable and feel it has neglected the mounting civil, political and social unrest we see every day. (Obviously, these are our personal views and should not be seen as official within our chain of command.)

Read the entire piece.

Reading this will inoculate you against any rosy assessments of how its going in Iraq from generals and White House staffers. Our soldiers are being wounded and killed by roadside bombs set by the Iraqi police and army that are supposed to be our partners. [Read the last paragraph of the article online for the details.] Young American men and women are being sacrificed for nothing other than a bunch of old men in Washington’s opinion that admitting defeat would be worse. Worse for whom?

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