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GWOT hot wash, straight from the wire

Welcome to The Sandbox, a forum for service members who have served or are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, returned vets, spouses and caregivers. The Sandbox's focus is not on policy and partisanship (go to our Blowback page for that), but on the unclassified details of deployment -- the everyday, the extraordinary, the wonderful, the messed-up, the absurd. All correspondence is read, and as much as possible is posted, lightly edited. If you know someone who is deployed who might have something to say, please tell them about us. To submit a post click here.

THE PULSE OF IRAQ |

February 26, 2009

THE PULSE OF IRAQ
Name: SGT B.
Posting date: 2/27/09
Stationed in: Iraq
Hometown: Rockford, WA
Milblog url: The Gun Line 
Email: hvygunner@gmail.com

I have access to a tremendous amount of "insider information." I cannot go into details, of course, but I can tell you that I have my finger on the pulse of Iraq. And if things were going badly, I assure you that the world would hear about it. But as I take in all of the information, there are so many positive reports, so many subtle signs that tell me that this country is fast approaching the point where they won't need us. It is exciting indeed. We are almost there.

Many of these subtle signs would only be recognized by somebody with a soldier's eye. For example:  A few years ago, a picture of Iraqi soldiers would show a bunch of guys in olive drab uniforms, half with cartridge belts and the rest without, maybe wearing steel helmets, maybe not, looking nervous and carrying AK-47s haphazardly on their persons, sitting in the back of a pick-up truck. A sorry sight indeed. 

Now, those same soldiers are wearing pattern disruptive camouflage, state of the art body armor, Kevlar helmets, everybody has the proper webgear, they wear eye-protection, tactical gloves, tactical radios, and they look very much like the Americans who are standing at the checkpoint with them. The Iraqi Non-Commissioned Officers confer with their American counterparts, and lead their soldiers in armored vehicles.

The Iraqi Army is quickly becoming a professional Western-style force to be reckoned with, and that, from a soldier's perspective, is an amazing thing. The relationship between the coalition forces and the Iraqi forces is now based on mutual respect, and the latter are well suited for taking back the duties of protecting the country. I am very proud of them.

And that's just from a military viewpoint, never mind all of the civil, financial, and political gains that are happening.

If it wasn't happening, I wouldn't say it -- I don't write things I don't personally believe. I'm writing this in order to pass word along to the folks in America.

Comments

Thanks for the report. Always good to hear how things are improving.

I read your blog and other milblogs because I can only trust the soldiers on the ground to report how things really are, rather than the line the politicians or media are trying to sell us.

Thank you for your service.

Hey guys,

Do you know a cell I can use in Iraq (Taji-Sadr-City)are.

Thanks,
Adolfo

What you as an idividual see on the ground right now, in your area, is almost certainly true; however, history teachs us that once we pull out, the country will almost certainly divide back into factions much like parts of the Balkans after Tito died. Iraq is an artificial country with artificial boundries. Hatreds trascend everything. The Shites are just waiting to get their pound of flesh - as are the Serbs.

I'm so glad to hear this. Thanks!

Wow, I didn't know that at all, and it's wonderful to hear that there's been progress. Sometimes it's hard to get good information about the war from newspapers. Thank you.

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