Some good and interesting reporting from Iraq, and the slow progress some U.S. troops are achieving, can be found on Julian Barnes’ blog from Iraq. Money quote:

The 101st seems to have a much deeper appreciation and understanding of the region it oversees than other units have had. The division soldiers seem to understand the factionalism better and also better appreciate the limits of their understanding. For example, Lt. Col. Marc Hutson, the commander of the battalion, can talk in some detail about the succession battles going on inside the larger tribes in his region.

It takes time to understand an alien culture. And even more time to win it over. Three years is not long enough.


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