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July 13, 2004
Winning The Peace

The AP makes a rare report of some good news from Iraq, filing a story today on the hard work of the civil affairs soldiers in the US Army and their function in rebuilding the nation, one piece at a time:

Sgt. Abubakar Senge walks through the secondary school with his rifle slung across his chest, his helmet hanging off his arm and a notebook in his hand, inspecting the work he hired an Iraqi builder to perform.

Checking every room, he wants to make sure everything is perfect before the students return at the end of August. "I'm not that much older than the guys going to school, so I know how they feel," said the 21-year-old college student from Portland, Ore. ...

The Army has assigned a civil affairs team to almost every battalion to take charge of reconstruction projects and set up neighborhood councils to get Iraq (news - web sites) back to normal. All civil affairs soldiers are reservists and excluded from combat operations. ... Senge's team is assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Battalion, which is responsible for Baghdad's Mansour district. The battalion has more than 170 projects worth about $7.5 million.

While the report is a bit brief, only focusing on one soldier in one unit, the acknowledgement of any of this Army's good work is encouraging. Soldiers like Senge have received little credit for the efforts they have made in making life easier for Iraqi civilians, even while they remain targets for the cowards and lunatics that torment both the CPA and the Iraqis themselves. The Pentagon certainly has received no credit for making these efforts, let alone for the results they have achieved in the civil-affairs units.

Check your local newspaper to see if they carried this AP report -- to be fair, it would have to be their Wednesday editions -- and where it wound up. Front page? Or A-36, behind the ongoing expos of the mayor's psoriasis?

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 13, 2004 5:25 AM

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