GROUND EYE VIEW
Vernon Loeb’s e-mail discussions with commanders in Iraq on how to measure victory is yet further evidence of my observation that one gets better answers from those in the middle than those who can see the top but aren’t quite there.
Perhaps the best insight was from LTC Henry Arnold, commander of the 2-187th INF:
The second piece to “turning the corner” is putting Iraqis in charge of security. We have been too slow in getting the local police and border guards funded and equipped to effectively and confidently do their job out here. . . . We can’t just give [the police] a modicum of training, a uniform, and a weapon and think they will effectively and confidently accomplish the tasks we desire. I would certainly think my chain of command was nuts if it expected me to conduct combat operations on the Syrian border without the ability to communicate or have sufficient transportation to reinforce, or evacuate casualties. Why should we expect anything different of the Iraqis?
(Hat tip: Andrew Olmsted)