Sunday, January 01, 2006

The future of America -- in Iraq

Here is an excerpt from the article that appeared in the LA Times:

The future of America -- in Iraq
By Robert D. Kaplan
ROBERT D. KAPLAN is the author of "Imperial Grunts: The American Military on the Ground" (Random House, 2005).

IF YOU WANT to meet the future political leaders of the United States, go to Iraq. I am not referring to the generals, or even the colonels. I mean the junior officers and enlistees in their 20s and 30s. In the decades ahead, they will represent something uncommon in U.S. military history: war veterans with practical experience in democratic governance, learned under the most challenging of conditions.

For several weeks, I observed these young officers working behind the scenes to organize the election in Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city. They arranged for the sniffer dogs at the polling stations and security for the ballots right up to the moment Iraqi officials counted them. They arranged the outer ring of U.S. military security, with inner ones of Iraqi soldiers and police at each polling station, even as they were careful to give the Iraqis credit for what they, in fact, were doing. The massive logistical exercise of holding an election in a city of 2.1 million people was further complicated by the fact that the location of many polling stations changed at the last minute to prevent terrorist attacks.

Throughout Iraq, young Army and Marine captains have become veritable mayors of micro-regions, meeting with local sheiks, setting up waste-removal programs to employ young men, dealing with complaints about cuts in electricity and so on. They have learned to arbitrate tribal politics, to speak articulately and to sit through endless speeches without losing patience...

You can read the full text HERE, on the blog of The Discerning Texan where I recently read this article.

Oh, and Happy New Year! :)

1 comment:

Chas said...

I certainly hope your right. Thanks for posting.