The Walls of the Fallen – OIF

The Names of the Fallen - Operation Iraqi Freedom.  FOB Warrior, Kirkuk, Iraq.

The Names of the Fallen – Operation Iraqi Freedom. FOB Warrior, Kirkuk, Iraq.

On these walls are the names of the fallen soldiers of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The walls remain on what used to be FOB Warrior in Kirkuk, Iraq. Painted by their colleagues these walls would form a great foundation for a memorial in Washington, D.C. for all the fallen during this War on Terror.  Remember them and all who have fallen or been wounded defending freedom and the United States this Memorial Day.


The Coming Civil War That Could Have Been Avoided

I wrote the following Op-Ed piece in the fall of 2011 while the US was negotiating with the Maliki Government of Iraq regarding the future status of any remaining US troops in Iraq after the previously agreed upon December 31, 2011 deadline for all troops to be out of Iraq. I reprint here because of the deteriorating situation in Iraq and the recent response by the Maliki government to a protest in Hawija in the Kirkuk Province. The response turned violent and 33 people were killed. Afterward the local tribal leaders’ comments were to the effect that peaceful demonstrations are over and it is time to pick up arms. That particular clash was Shia on Sunni. However, having taken place in Kirkuk is significant.

I lived in Kirkuk for three years as the senior economic development advisor with the Kirkuk Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) and to the Government of Iraq. Over the three year period my team and I engaged in over 600 missions outside the wire to meet with provincial political leaders, Baghdad ministerial leaders, the Governor, and local farmers and business leaders. In Iraq, PRTs were diplomatic outposts of the U.S. Embassy that partnered with Brigade Combat Teams, other U.S. Agency presence in Iraq, and the local provincial governments to foster political progress and build capacity critical for a stable and democratic Iraq. In the disputed province of Kirkuk we were welcomed and the local ethnic groups recognized the positive contributions and the stabilizing influence of the PRT and the U.S. Army.

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Harvard’s Stephen Walt waltzed past the facts in his “Top 10 Lessons of the Iraq War”

Harvard Professor Stephen M. Walt’s March 20, 2012 article in Foreign Policy Magazine reflects yet another example of the bash America liberal elite this time in a superficial attempt at describing the “Top 10 Lessons of the Iraq War,” without regard, of course, for the realities on the ground..

It is far too early to declare whether the US won or lost in Iraq. Yet Harvard Professor Stephan Walt contends in his Lesson #1: The United States lost. It’s true after countless interviews and interrogations of high level Iraqi officials, including Saddam Hussein; there was no resurgence of a WMD program in Iraq. US intelligence agencies weren’t the only ones with “definitive” evidence of WMDs: Israelis, Italians, French, and British all purportedly had independent intelligence supporting a restart of a threatening WMD program in Iraq. Saddam Hussein proved quite effective in his efforts to mislead the West about his WMD intentions and capabilities.

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