"......hard to believe another week is already past. Last week was a flurry of activity. AQIZ, the Iraqi bad guys, launched a country wide "offensive"which meant we were busy. We had a lot of fighting going on all week. Our unit mostly fought in a small section of the city and in the rural surroundings. We had only minor casualties in the fighting which lasted about three days. No one from our unit was evacuated out for injuries. We captured a lot of "detainees" and it is turning out some are "high value". It is the first time the insurgents really tried to fight. In some ways three days of continuous fighting actually helped morale. The soldiers were finally fighting an enemy that was there around them. Usually there is no one to fight, just a bomb or a sniper's shots.
In reading the news sometimes I wonder how the media decides what tovreport. I know it must be difficult because for the media to report on this area they have to embed with us. Not many want that now because one, we do not live in very comfortable conditions, two, they would not really have free run of the area (and would be killed or kidnapped if they tried), and three, one could write the same stories, from the relative comfort and safety of Baghdad as here, just the place names would change. The problem is that gives a skewed report that Baghdad is a hot spot. Baghdad is actually calm and quiet. At Anaconda, a largebase in Baghdad, the soldiers do not even have to carry their weapons when not on duty. Here there is no such thing as not on duty. I do not think there are places in Iraq without daily attacks. The Kurdish controlled area in the north and the British controlled sector in the south are relatively safe. I would say safer than under Hussein. The rest of Iraq is under constant struggle. I am not sure the media has a handle on what is happening in the country anymore, maybe I need to try to read Newsweek or Time. The sources I see just report sporadic attacks in the outskirts of Baghdad with the occasional attack in the green zone. That may be the truth but then take every other major city in Iraq (around ten) and each of them is identical to Baghdad with daily sporadic fighting in the areas surrounding them and an occasional large coordinated attack. I do not know if that is the picture being painted to the American people.
I also know many Americans are now focused inward. Only around 80 soldiers of Mississippi's 155th Brigade Combat Team (around 6000 soldiers)have been allowed to go on emergency leave. Those soldiers mostly have dead or missing relatives. Around 30% of the soldiers homes were destroyed. That is 1800 soldiers who don't have a home to return to. There is no one to take their place and so they will stay in Iraq until January when they were scheduled to go home. ~40% of theMississippi National Guard is deployed to either Iraq or Afghanistan right now. The US military is horribly over extended. One could argue that this was a disaster of unprecedented proportion (but not unpredicted) and that is correct.
What if North Korea decided now was a good time to invade South Korea. Could the United States get any troops there even to reinforce the 18000 there now? N Koreas army is about five times that size. I am sure there is a war bunker in Korea where they are discussing this. The choice would be let N Korea invade or pull the troops from the Gulf Coast. Military planners have war gamed fighting on three fronts. We have been fighting on two now for three years. Now with the reliance on Nat Grd and reserves to help fight on foreign fronts we cannot support the third"front", the Gulf Coast. A fourth is impossible........"