Members of the Third Infantry Division’s Third Brigade attending a ceremony in Baghdad on April 18 for Pvt. Kelley Prewitt, whose saga reveals a lot about the nature of the war in Iraq. (David Leeson/Reuters)

NYT tells the story of a young 3rd ID soldier from Birmingham who was killed in combat last month in Iraq.

It was a small episode in a big war. But it reveals a lot about the nature of that war.

In a conventional conflict the tanks take the fight to the enemy and supply troops operate behind the front lines. But in this war there often was no clear front line. American forces were pitted against paramilitary fighters, who often let the tanks and the Bradley fighting vehicles pass so they could attack the vulnerable logistics troops that followed them.

Supply troops and even headquarters staff, who were not designated for combat, sometimes found themselves in the thick of the action. Hauling ammunition for the tanks was sometimes more dangerous than fighting in them.

Certainly true and an increasing trend in modern warfare. In tank-on-tank combat, it takes almost a freak occurence for American crewmen to be killed. Logistical support vehicles operating with little or no reinforcements lack that comparative advantage.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. MommaBear says:

    Another page in the book: Why We Win !!