More good problems in Anbar

Yesterday the issue was electricity in Ramadi. That’s bad, but not nearly as bad as the previous problem, which was getting blown up and shot at in Ramadi.

Today, highlights The Toughest Fight in Anbar Province

After preparing to confront one of the most deadly insurgencies America has ever faced, and steeped in the legend of Marine aggressiveness in the counterterrorist fight, the leathernecks of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines are fighting a pitched battle against boredom.

This isn’t quite what the troops have trained and prepared themselves for:

For some of leathernecks here on their first deployment, it’s a bit of a let-down. One Marine in 3rd platoon who’s a veteran of the fierce Fallujah fight in November of 2004 said it’s been tough to keep his Marines motivated after regaling them with stories of that epic battle. They came here to fight, he said, and instead they’re patrolling streets teeming with people, devoid of enemy activity.

In fact, Lima Company hasn’t fired a single shot in anger since early October, its commander, Capt. Quintin Jones, said.

One potential problem with this is that once things stabilize at this level, which we all hope they well, it won’t take a whole lot to make things look they’ve gone south again. A helicopter getting shot down, an IED that takes out a bunch of men at once. A determined campaign of smaller attacks that can’t be defeated easily or quickly. All of these could suddenly make it appear that the momentum is back in the bad guys’ court. The fact that our guys might be having trouble staying focused just makes the likelihood for a successful “mini-Tet” in the area all that much greater.

And don’t think that the bad guys don’t know it and aren’t trying to take advantage of that right now.