Bill Roggio again has another excellent must-read interview with Col. Stephen Davis, Commander of Marine Regimental Combat Team - 2, on Operating Steel Curtain. The interview is good not only from the comments and analysis provided by Col. Davis but also the probing and knowledgable questions asked by Mr. Roggio. An earlier interview with Col. Davis can be found here.
Here is just one nugget from the exchange on the Iraqi army:
"Bill: Last time we spoke, we discussed the morale of the Americans serving under your command. Can you give us a feel for the morale of the Iraqi troops?
Col Davis: The morale of the Iraqi troops is high. We are very fortunate to work with these soldiers and to watch them grow. The 2nd Brigade, 7th Division of the Iraqi Army is operating in the Hit/Haditha region, and the 1st Brigade, 1st Division is operating out west on the Syrian border. One of the battalions was engaged in Fallujah and Ramadi. There are some tough and battle hardened soldiers in these units. I am fortunate to have these two brigades directly under my command.
I dine nightly with [Iraqi Army] Colonel Razak, and we discuss the progress of the Iraqi troops and their ability to conduct combat operations. These units operating out here have good morale and show a high degree of proficiency in combat. They are in need of logistics assistance from us. These guys fight hard; I’ve lost six Iraqi soldiers since they have been operating out here.
The Iraqi troops are extremely helpful when it comes to identifying insurgents and al Qaeda. For example, outside of the displaced persons camp set up for citizens of Husaybah, Iraqi troops of the 1/1 picked two Saudis and a Qatari out of the crowd who were dressed as women, then engaged and killed all three. This is but one example of their proficiency."
I highly recommend the post to you. While you are there, consider donating to Mr. Roggio's December trip "in country" to Iraq as he will be with the Marines of RCT-2.