A combined unit of US and Iraqi soldiers is preparing to launch operation Vigilant Resolve.
(I yearn for the good old days when op names didn’t have to be TV commercials.)
I think it’s important that Iraqis begin to play a greater role in securing their nation. First of all, we frankly need the manpower. If they only assume some of the more mundane duties, it will free up our guys to either carry out more missions or just rest.
But, even more importantly, Iraqis need to begin ponying up because it is their future on the line. They need to become more invested in what’s going on, and they need to get their own heroes. Sure, I want them to like our military, but there will never be any true love for American soldiers in Iraq, and if only foreigners die in battles and attacks, the average Iraqi doesn’t stand to lose too much. If the guys on the lines (such as they are) are their own people, they’ll have a personal investment in things and another reason to support pacification.
(I’ve been trying to avoid the ‘P’ word, because of the negative connotations we have for it, but after this weekend’s events I think that’s all we can call it at this point.)
Of course I hope for success in Vigilant Resolve, but I also hope that Iraqi personnel can claim a share of the credit.
And, as I’ve mentioned before, watch Airborne Combat Engineer for more coverage of the Fallujah situation.
UPDATE: I made this comment on an earlier post about Fallujah:
I think the fact that we didn’t go rushing headlong into the city on a “rescue” mission indicates that the Marines have a plan.
All of history indicates you don’t want to be on the receiving end when the US Marines have a plan.
The inevitable comparisons to the Blackhawk Down events in Mogadishu don’t take into account the fact that those Rangers and Delta Force operators were basically unprepared and unsupported for a battle. They didn’t have enough water, ammunition, medical supplies, body armor, night vision gear, or alternatives. That will not be the case in Fallujah, even if the entire city opposes them. I don’t know if this is going to be a small battle or just a major raid. It’s up to the citizens of the city, I guess.