PATIENCE WEARS THIN

PATIENCE WEARS THIN: An interesting background piece on the ardors of sitting in theater waiting for war. A rather prescient excerpt:

Sgt. Pedro Quinones, 26, of Sebring, Fla., sees a broader purpose than ending a perceived threat to the United States from Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

“We’re here to do a mission, but we’re also here to help these people,” said Quinones, whose squad is in charge of all the nuclear, chemical and biological protection equipment for McKenna’s 1st Platoon. If Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is not deposed, the problem will continue, he said.

“I know that down the road, whether it be one year or 10 years, I’ll be back doing the same thing,” he said. “I feel if we don’t do it now, we’ll be back.”

I seem to remember thinking the same thing about 12 years ago.

And I am amused by this:

And there were more rehearsals and planning sessions in preparation to, as the soldiers say, “cross the berm.”

The reason the soldiers say that is because they are, um, crossing a berm. A berm is a mound of dirt, in this case sand, that has been erected as an obstacle. The Iraqi border is lined with them. So, to invade Iraq, one must cross the berm. It isn’t a generic term used for springing into action.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War
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.