Military Dog Picture of the Week/ Breaking Iraq
I happened upon the photo above on Twitter from a kind Canadien chap. This is an absolute heart melting photo!
Thanks for sharing Dave……..his caption was, ”Tracer, Trooper & Trigger … Handler Sergeant J. White, CD”
I simply loved it and had to share!
Completely changing gears here, I wanted to let you all know about a new book coming out that I’m very interested in reading entitled, Breaking Iraq – The Ten Mistakes That Broke Iraq.
The book will be released on March 19, the 10th Anniversary of the war in Iraq and was written by Colonel (Retired) Ted Spain and Terry D. Turchie, a former Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterterrorism Division of the FBI.
Colonel Spain commanded the 18th Military Police Brigade during the ground war and subsequent occupation of Iraq. I served in this brigade with Colonel Spain. He is a great man and leader.
I’ve got a quick and funny story to tell you. In 2003, I flew to Kuwait wearing civilian clothes in business class to fight in this war. These business class tickets were the only ones the government could get us flying into Kuwait at this time. It wasn’t how I envisioned going to war!
I was part of the 709th Military Police Battalion’s small advance party into Kuwait prior to the ground war. Colonel Spain was one of the personnel that met us at the airport and escorted us to the isolated Camp Virginia in the dessert of Kuwait where we prepared for war.
Man I could tell you some great stories about these times…… spending a month in the sand storms of Kuwait or the actual invasion of Iraq.
But back to my point- I need to read Breaking Iraq – The Ten Mistakes That Broke Iraq.
There were so many things, as a young Captain, that I didn’t understand during Operation Iraqi Freedom I? I need answers.
I also need to know why Baghdad was essentially a lawless city and the Iraqi Police dysfunctional and ineffective when I showed up with my company for Operation Iraqi Freedom II.
The forward to Breaking Iraq – The Ten Mistakes That Broke Iraq was written by Tom Ricks and in the book Colonel Spain reveals his personal involvement in the pre-war planning, the invasion, and the first year of the occupation.
This is a very short narrative of the ten mistakes:
1.Secretary Rumsfeld’s deployment plans did not include an adequate number of military police to control the routes during the ground war, nor sufficient military police to help control the streets after the ground war. This contributed to the Jessica Lynch fiasco and the chaos on the streets of Baghdad.
2. Law and Order was not given sufficient attention in the pre-war planning. This failed to provide a police system to provide security to the Iraqi citizenry and to instill a sense of trust in our Army.
3. The categories of the thousands of detainees were never clear, causing confusion as to the proper legal treatment. Were they enemy, terrorist, or criminal? What’s the difference?
4. The process of collecting intelligence from the detainees was flawed from the pre-war planning sessions, during the ground war, and during the subsequent occupation. This set the stage for abuse, including the Abu Ghraib Prison scandal.
5. Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, the warden of Abu Ghraib Prison, was the wrong leader at the wrong place at the wrong time. Her appointment resulted in scandal and loss of trust in American forces by Iraqi citizenry.
6. Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, Commander of all military forces in Iraq during the occupation was over his head, and continued fighting the ground war, long after it was over.
7. The Coalition Provisional Authority, under the leadership of L. Paul Bremer, dismantled the Iraqi Army, and the highest level of the Ba’ath Party. We lost some of the most experienced personnel that were so vital in putting Iraq back together again.
8. Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik was more focused on padding his resume, and getting camera time, than helping stand up a viable Iraqi Police Services.
9. Because standing up an Iraqi Police Service was focused on quantity, not quality, we never completely knew who we could trust.
10.President Bush’s coalition of the willing was only a coalition in name. Even those that were willing, were not able. Only a couple of countries contributed to gaining stability in Iraq.
Colonel Spain never held any punches as my Brigade Commander and I’m sure he won’t in his book. For me, Breaking Iraq – The Ten Mistakes That Broke Iraq is a must read.
Every wonder how an Iraqi veteran felt about our withdrawal? Here are my thoughts.
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