Saturday night, I got an email from a very close buddy of mine currently serving as an Army officer in Ramadi. He saw my recent blog about the ongoing equipment issues and responded with this email. Eleven people have been killed in his batallion in the last 10 days. He speaks with a candor and level of frustration that you won't hear from the Generals on TV. The conversation in America is dominated by the "stay or go" dialogue right now. Few people outside of Iraq are talking about the fact that what we are doing there is being done half-assed. This email makes my blood boil. Check it out:
They make level IV side armor, too, that we don't have. Of all the guys that have been shot and killed here, all have been through the side of the armor where there's no plate. That's where the snipers are aiming for, and hitting. my two guys who got hit by a sniper ... one went through the side (no plate) and he survived by the grace of god. The other moved at the last second and the bullet hit the plate right no its edge.
Side armor is one thing. But Paul, we have no reserve here. Every avilable troop is on the line every day. We have no offensive capability because to launch an operation in one sector would mean pulling the troops out of another sector. While they are bullshitting with the numbers, we need 3 times as many troops as we have here just to be able to protect ourselves. We don't have the people to clear out the bad neighborhoods, so we just keep going over there and getting killed, 1, 3 or 5 guys at a time.
And don't get me started on the bankrupt leadership in theater. We know the enemy only does one thing well: IEDs. but they keep sending us everywhere up the roads in these stuipid vehicles. roads where you have no choice of what direction to travel. They're slightly wider than the vehicle and raised. You're such an easy target. Where's the air assualt infantry?? Why must we play right to the enemy's strength 1000 times a day? We never try anything else. Where are the apaches? As far as i can tell, we have one cobra and one huey ... 40 year old technology at best. A platoon of apaches could end this thing in a week, b/c no one could stick their head out to shoot, or trigger an IED. We're not even trying. It's pathetic.