Changing of the Guard

2nd Stryker brigade leaves tonight for Iraq

The title of this Seattle Post-Intelligencer article is a little misleading. Only about 400 troops, all members of the 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, are actually leaving tonight. But the trickle of 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division troops is picking up as the new second Stryker brigade prepares to relieve the first currently in the Mosul area of Iraq. The Army says that the first elements of the first Stryker brigade, the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, will begin returning home next week.

Assuming the previous pattern continues, expect insurgent attacks in the Mosul area to intensify for a while once the transition is complete. Newer troops who are unfamiliar with the specific region and combat in general won’t be as effective right off the bat as the departing veterans, and the insurgents know it. They’ll take the opportunity to test the new guys and try to make a splash.

They’ll regret it, of course, but don’t expect to read THAT in the papers.