INDC in Iraq: Fort Apache, Fallujah

Another great one from INDC Bill about the difficulties of building a civil police force inside a war zone. There’s heroism to spare among the local Iraqis — as one Marine says, “Would people back home come back to work the next day after being shot in the head?” — but they need more American advisors. (Some cutting-edge biometric identification technology wouldn’t hurt, either.) Bill himself is ambivalent about whether it’s going to work or not, although he suspects if success does come, it’ll come when Fallujans accept the Patriquin plan.

Some of it, like the description of the Iraqi SWAT team, you’ll enjoy. Other parts, not so much. The takeaway:

“We’re on the baby steps right now. We’ve finally got ’em to where they’re halfway doing their job, going out there and doing their job, but if we pull out right now, they’re still halfway depending on us. If we pull out right now, let’s just say things will go straight back to where they were. There’s been a lot of progress here,” said Lance Corporal Nathan Yeager.

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CBS’s embed in Baghdad has a report out today about the police in that city. She’s as ambivalent as Bill is, but with the added fear of sectarian loyalties influencing the squad. That’s a much bigger worry in a mixed city like the capital than in Anbar, I’d imagine.