Mr. Abby's little brother is in Iraq with the California National Guard. He's on Camp Victory, and, last we heard is happy to be anywhere as long at it's not Camp Shelby, Mississippi. He emails regularly and we send pictures and the occasional object and don't think much more about it.
We heard from him within the last few hours, we know this wasn't him.
Meanwhile in Iraq on Thursday, two coalition soldiers were killed and 38 others were wounded in an attack on Camp Victory, a large U.S. military base near Baghdad International Airport, the U.S.-led coalition said.
The military said the attack occurred by indirect fire, such as rocket or mortar. Such attacks on the base are not unusual, officials have said.
Even on the big, nice, base, Mr. Murphy is always somewhere in background, rolling his dice and chuckling.
Also, I note that someone in the Marine Corps planning structure seems to think that everything would be much simpler if the Marine Corps and Army juggled their forces a little, gave Iraq to the Army and made Afghanistan a Marine Corps show.
The suggestion was raised in a session last week convened by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and regional war-fighting commanders. While still under review, its supporters, including some in the Army, argue that a realignment could allow the Army and Marines each to operate more efficiently in sustaining troop levels for two wars that have put a strain on their forces.
There might be something to this - I'd think it would make planning easier. And Marines do "divide up" easily - the Corps has a (for lack of a better term) "modularity" in its organization that makes it much easier to mix and match units and pieces of units to achieve a desired balance of capabilities.
But, I gotta admit, that is not what I thought when I read the first couple of articles. I scrolled immediately to the bottom and started looking for something like this:
Naval officers also are quietly advocating for the Navy to be given primary responsibility for U.S anti-terrorism missions in seaport bars in both Italy and the Phillipines as part of a new "play-to-your-strength" deployment concept. The U.S. Air Force will be presenting a plan outlining the strategic advantages of pulling their personnel out of Iraq and redeploying them to several "very nice Mexican hotels" on the Gulf of Mexico. The Coast Guard is expected to develop plans to realign all its personnel to Key West.
I'm not sure if the plan (the real one, not my version) actually has legs, but it's an interesting concept. We shall wait and see.
“This is not about trading one ground war for another,” said one Pentagon official briefed on the Marine concept. “It is about the nature of the fight in Afghanistan, and figuring out whether the Afghan mission lends itself more readily to the integrated MAGTF deployment than even Iraq.”