15:02 16 Apr 2003
Although the fighting has wound down in a serious way, the 4th ID returned fire today while securing an airfield near Baghdad, according to this Phil Carter post. He also notes
I’d use the fresh troops from 4ID to police the streets of Baghdad. Despite their long wait in Texas, these units just arrived in Kuwait and didn’t sit through 8 months in the desert before fighting for 3+ weeks. As such, they’re going to be a lot safer, a lot more deliberative, and a lot more intelligent about basic decisions. Safety incidents have already claimed several soldiers’ lives this week, and 4ID’s soldiers are likely to be a lot more alert to those hazards having just got off the plane. Moreover, 4ID’s troops have not seen the same intense combat as the Marines, 101st and 3rd Infantry soldiers. That makes a big difference for civil-military operations, because they can approach the policing mission without the hostility of combat.
That’s a great insight. And you know those soldiers and Marines that drove into Iraq have got to be SPENT. We don’t really want then shooting people just because they’re damned tired and have been shooting things for three weeks straight. Look at the incident in Mosul. Although we don’t really know what happened up there yet, at this point it’s hard to really blame Marines for shooting anyone that appears even remotely hostile.