Desert Fatigues: Diplomacy with the Sheikhs

“…Anbar has joined the fight against terror,” say Senator Joe Lieberman, (I-CT). Astounding words. Democrats must hate it. Drat! there’s good news out there and we can’t squash it – it’s coming from one of our own.

Only a few months ago, Anbar was considered one of the most, if not the most, dangerous fights in Iraq.

Senator Lieberman:

When I last visited Anbar in December, the U.S. military would not allow me to visit the provincial capital, Ramadi, because it was too dangerous. Anbar was one of al Qaeda’s major strongholds in Iraq and the region where the majority of American casualties were occurring. A few months earlier, the Marine Corps chief of intelligence in Iraq had written off the entire province as “lost,” while the Iraq Study Group described the situation there as “deteriorating.”

When I returned to Anbar on this trip, however, the security environment had undergone a dramatic reversal.

Lieberman reports that diplomacy in Anbar has been a key. Col. John Charlton, commander of the 1st Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division says:

We meet with the sheikhs every single day and at every single level.

Diplomacy in desert fatigues…forget the three-piece suit. Condoleeza, don’t bother. Wouldn’t you love to see a list of the “real” recommendations from our commanders on the ground, in the air and at sea? I’m not intimating that these commanders would want to blow away Iraq and be done with it. Quite the contrary. I believe they are capable of making a quicker fight of it, a cleaner fight of it, and would have “held the fort” with might and humanity.

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Posted by Maggie

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