Wow, I'm glad America's soldiers are dealing with this bull**** instead of a storm in the midwest.
Nearly three months after the U.S. military launched a new strategy to safeguard Baghdad's population by pushing American and Iraqi forces deeper into the city's neighborhoods, defending their small outposts is increasingly requiring heavy bulwarks reminiscent of the fortresslike bases that the U.S. troops left behind.
To guard against bombs, mortar fire and other threats, U.S. commanders are adding fortifications to the outposts, setting them farther back from traffic and arming them with antitank weapons capable of stopping suicide bombers driving armored vehicles. U.S. troops maintain the advantage of living in the neighborhoods they are asked to protect, but the need to safeguard themselves from attack means more walls between them and civilians.
For U.S. troops living at the small camps, the constant need for vigilance -- coupled with hardship conditions and the prospect of 15-month tours -- has in some cases taken a toll on morale. While some soldiers see advantages in living alongside Iraqi security forces inside the neighborhoods they patrol, others voice resentment over a mission they believe is ill-defined.
At the outpost in Sadr City, a volatile predominantly Shiite Muslim district of east Baghdad with about 2 million residents, scores of Iraqi police officers and U.S. soldiers live in cramped quarters in a two-story building that serves as a joint security station. They eat mostly packaged food, rarely shower, and in off-duty hours do little but sleep. U.S. troops staff guard towers on the roof 24 hours a day and, uncertain of the loyalties of their Iraqi counterparts, also stand sentry at the American section inside.
Clearly Al Qaeda wins if U.S. troops don't have to turn Iraq into a fortress and babysit Iraqi forces who just might stick a knife in their throats.
The story continues:
"What do you want us to accomplish over here? We aren't hearing any end state. We aren't hearing it from the president, from the defense secretary," Sgt. 1st Class Michael Eaglin said in a room cluttered with bunk beds, rucksacks and weapons at the Sadr City outpost. "We're working hard and the politicians are arguing. They don't have bullets flying over their heads. They aren't on the front lines, and their buddies aren't dying," he said, echoing the sentiments of a group of soldiers around him.
"It's almost like the Vietnam War. We don't know where we're going," Spec. Adam Hamilton agreed.
Well guys, the President issued a document years ago that said "Victory" like a thousand times and some right wing bloggers did their part and made a website that says "Victory" a whole lot so you really ought to quit complaining.