Bill Roggio, who is planning on going to Iraq to report firsthand on the Marines' efforts in the Anbar Province in Western Iraq, conducted an insightful interview with Colonel Stephen W. Davis, Commander of Marine Regimental Combat Team - 2.
There are many excellent nuggets in the interview, but Col. Davis' focus on seeing the big picture in waging the fight against the insurgents is clear.
"Saddam never controlled this region of Iraq. It is very tribal and fiercely independent. He sent in the army to kill and intimidate the population. He established two tribes in the region: the Salmanis and the Karabilah tribes, to further his goals and counterbalance existing dominating tribes. The Iraqis out west, particularly in Haditha, are well educated and are able to provide for their own needs. They have operated this way for centuries and can do so again with the proper security environment. We have a simple equation we use out here:
Presence = Security = Stability = the environment for self governance.
Our goal is to enfranchise the Iraqi security forces and allow them to provide for the security in the region and improve the lives of the Iraqi people. We will continue to conduct civil/military affairs operations to improve the lives of the Iraqi people. In Haditha, we are rebuilding the hospital the jihadis attacked with a car bomb and then used as a base of operation. We are working to enhance schools and other services vital to the people. We will continue to maintain a presence until the Iraqi Army is capable of standing on its own."
I highly recommend the article.
Please help Bill Roggio raise the $25,000 he needs to travel to Iraq and expand on his first-rate coverage of the men and women fighting the war and the global perspective of how the war for Iraq is progressing against the backdrop on the Global War on Terror. Follow the link in the upper right. For an updated list of Bill's needs for the trip, click here. The list includes:
- Bullet proof vest with Level 4 API plates
- Tactical backpack
- Cold weather sleeping bag
- Rough weather/terrain computer
- Video camera
- Digital camera
- Extra batteries
- Audio recording device
It is a worthy cause supporting a man I know personally, who is a first-rate gentleman and brilliant thinker. If you are inclined to and able to help (even just $15 will make a difference) please contribute.