More from soldiers in the field:
Even after all this time…and even after the friends we have lost, we still wish we could do more in this war. I think all of us would give up the safety and security of living on a base while protecting convoys where the enemy targets us with roadside bombs every mission, to live amongst the Iraqi people, protecting neighborhoods and families, and rooting out the bad guys where they live. The American lives lost would be much higher, but our impact on the lives of these people would be immeasurable. That’s not to say we’re still not committed to our current mission, in fact we’ll be on the road all day for Christmas and New Year’s far from any friendly forces in Anbar province. It’s just that for once, we wish the politics back home could disappear and Americans could see what really happens day to day over here. The horrors to humanity that these terrorists commit, mostly to other Iraqis, is inexcusable no matter what religion or ideology you believe in. It’s just really too bad that people back home refuse to believe it exists, or refuse to believe we can do anything about it.
Me: That’s what happens when our mission is “avoid casualties and train the Iraqis,” instead of “win the war, whatever it takes.” The real war, not just the battle of Iraq.