Monday, January 02, 2006

A Father Writes A Letter

A fallen Marine's father's anguish spills on to the Washington Post's op-ed pages today. I can't really comment on the emotional aspect of the piece, I've never had a friend or relative die due to failed presidential policy. I do know that he gets one thing exactly right though. From WAPO:

I am outraged at what I see as the cause of his death. For nearly three years, the Bush administration has pursued a policy that makes our troops sitting ducks. While Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that our policy is to "clear, hold and build" Iraqi towns, there aren't enough troops to do that.

In our last conversation, Augie complained that the cost in lives to clear insurgents was "less and less worth it," because Marines have to keep coming back to clear the same places. Marine commanders in the field say the same thing. Without sufficient troops, they can't hold the towns. Augie was killed on his fifth mission to clear Haditha.

That pretty much sums up our merry go round approach to fighting insurgents in the Al-Anbar province, and given our current troop levels, I don't see how it's going to change anytime soon. As for waiting for Iraqi security services to stand up, those guys get clipped at a pace of at least twice what our soldiers do. The bottom line is we are stuck with this policy as long as this administration is in office.

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