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Thoughts from a Marine Intel Officer. It’s short, pithy, well-written.

Bravest Guy in al-Anbar Province – Any Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician (EOD Tech). How’d you like a job that required you to defuse bombs in a hole in the middle of the road that very likely are booby-trapped or connected by wire to a bad guy who’s just waiting for you to get close to the bomb before he clicks the detonator? Every day. Sanitation workers in New York City get paid more than these guys. Talk about courage and commitment.

Thank you to the EOD techs who are doing this job. You are in my prayers. And if I get any say in it, your salaries are going up, too.

(Did you read the Army says it’s going to cut family services? We’re at war, folks. Their budget needs to get bigger, not smaller.)

Most Profound Man in Iraq – an unidentified farmer in a fairly remote area who, after being asked by Reconnaissance Marines (searching for Syrians) if he had seen any foreign fighters in the area replied “Yes, you.”

I always think that when I read about foreign fighters. It’s not like Syrians are that visually different from Iraqis. We’re the ones who look odd.

Biggest Surprise – Iraqi Police. All local guys. I never figured that we’d get a police force established in the cities in al-Anbar. I estimated that insurgents would kill the first few, scaring off the rest. Well, insurgents did kill the first few, but the cops kept on coming. The insurgents continue to target the police, killing them in their homes and on the streets, but the cops won’t give up. Absolutely incredible tenacity. The insurgents know that the police are far better at finding them than we are – and they are finding them. Now, if we could just get them out of the habit of beating prisoners to a pulp . . .

Did you read that now that the Iraqis are in charge of Abu Ghraib the prisoners are begging for us to come back? It’s true.

Highest Unit Re-enlistment Rate – Any outfit that has been in Iraq recently. All the danger, all the hardship, all the time away from home, all the horror, all the frustrations with the fight here – all are outweighed by the desire for young men to be part of a ‘Band of Brothers’ who will die for one another. They found what they were looking for when they enlisted out of high school. Man for man, they now have more combat experience than any Marines in the history of our Corps.

It’s amazing. And I thank God for them. And pray for their safety.

Go read Thoughts from a Marine Intel Officer. It’s amazing.