Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Marine Corps needs to stay in Al Anbar

Some Officers and I talked about the success in Iraq and one voiced his concern that we are contributing success in Al Anbar to the wrong reasons, and thus will not recognize things are going bad when the real reason change. He felt the Sunnis decided to change side for there own reason and could change back at will.

I asked about the personal connections that are made by Marines with the Iraqis and if this was significant.

Here is what Micheal Yon says about it.
We now have a large number of American and British officers who can pick up a phone from Washington or London and call an Iraqi officer that he knows well—an Iraqi he has fought along side of—and talk. Same with untold numbers of Sheiks and government officials, most of whom do not deserve the caricatural disdain they get most often from pundits who have never set foot in Iraq. British and American forces have a personal relationship with Iraqi leaders of many stripes. The long-term intangible implications of the betrayal of that trust through the precipitous withdrawal of our troops could be enormous, because they would be the certain first casualties of renewed violence, and selling out the Iraqis who are making an honest-go would make the Bay of Pigs sell-out seem inconsequential. The United States and Great Britain would hang their heads in shame for a century.
For this and other reasons I think the Marine Corps should lengthen the tours in Iraq, set up a permanent rotation where the same units return time after time, and permanently place a at least a Marine Expeditionary Brigade with its General and staff in Al Anbar. 7th MEB is the obvious choice.