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As I was waiting on my routine doctor’s appointment ,I had a chance to read about 12 pages of the status in Iraq.  The stories were about to surge and the remaking of the U.S. Army.

The article describes a gung ho Army Captain named Tim Wright, going from leading an army whose door kicking and guns blazing tactics really just fueled the already angry insurgents.  Although the U.S. Army had superior technology and firepower they were quickly bogged down, baffled, injured and killed by the $24 Radio Shack IEDs.

Along came General David Petraueus, changing the old overwhelming force and firepower tactics, to moving troops out the large bases ino small outposts amongst the general population.  The counterinsurgency tactics transformed a harden combat Captain Tim Wright into a nation builder and negotiator.  Under this plan, the army became the mayors,cops and the civil engineers.  The tactic requires the soldiers to leave the armored vehicles behind , and become a walking patrol stopping  and talking to people along the way. The objective changed from taking a hill or storming a village, to winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people.

Our new allies are our former enemies at a cost of $10 per day per insurgent. An insurgent wishing to be part of this probation program has to turn in his weapon ,be fingerprinted ,tell-all, what they knew about the insurgency and stay clean for eight months.  Those who have killed civilians are not eligible.  What is all this costing us? Well with all the commanders doling out money to help revive the neighborhoods about $767 million has been allocated so far, but a request of $450 million more is pending.  The money well spent ,if it will keep the casualties down until someone figures a way out.  Hard to convince the young soldiers who have fought in Iraq and seeing their best buddies die or severely wounded,that this is the best option.

Some say, we need to add about more 800,000 troops at a cost of 125,000 per soldier.We also need about $300 billion for vehicles.  Check and see if  a presidential candidate brings this up in the debate. I doubt it.

Michael Ware (CNN international correspondent) told Bill Maher last night that the soldiers know that this war is not being covered in the United States anymore.  Iraq coverage is only 4%. He said the soldier’s mission is just to look out for his buddies and make it back home safely.  Michael Ware said the ruling Shia are trying to expand their control ,while our military is there and the Sunni are waiting for our military to leave before making a last-ditch effort to regain what they once had.  For the United States military, that means financing both sides of it, in order to keep the troubled country on hold, until the next administration figures a way out.

 

The media have pretty well dropped its coverage of the war and I can’t depend on this administration for the truth,  so I’m left with weekly news magazines and the five dollar Sunday New York Times.

I wish there every one , a Happy Easter weekend

Credits to March 24,2008 edition of Newsweek

Babak Dehghanpisheh,Evan Thomas,Fareed Zakaria and John Barry.