Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Soldiers who "Get It" in Iraq


I came across this PDF file last week when I wrote my entry about the Army's new counterinsurgency manual. A young Army Captain, Travis Patriquin, came to understand the nature of the insurgency he was fighting in Anbar province. To get there, he had to understand not only the insurgents, but the people, the culture, and Iraqi society as well.

As simplistic as the stick figures look, CPT Patriquin did an amazing job of simplifying and incredibly complex problem. While operating at the tactical level, the young officer was able to shed light on where the strategies employed in Iraq may have gotten off track; he further offers a winning way forward for everyone involved (except the terrorists, but that's all right according toCapt Patriquin, "because Terrorists suck").

This young Army officer, executing American policy on the front line, illuminates what success can look like in Iraq. Hopefully, the Generals and senior State Department officials are doing more of the same kind of thinking.

POST SCRIPT: Sadly, CPT Patriquin was killed in Iraq this month; hopefully his insightful presentation inspires many who follow after him to achieve success in this endeavor.

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