Saturday, February 17, 2007

Fallujah - status report 02/17/07

“With the arrival of my last two operatives, I can report that the intelligence squad is now up to full strength. Staff have been individually posted to the 12 forward holding positions, according to the new plans, and they're beginning to engage with local community leaders and elders.

"We are very focused on introducing the new doctrine into the local population. Now we have the staff to do it, I’m sure we can successfully get across the messages about the advantages of democracy and the importance of supporting the current administration.

"No significant problems so far, although there may be some issues of administrative boundaries with the Corps logistics team. I appreciate that the local logistics officers have been in-situ longer than my people, but inevitably, as my guys get up to speed, the logistics guys will have to readjust their roles.

"It's not that they're not fully supporting my people, but, well, they’re mercenaries, aren't they, not regulars, and although people say they have a lot of experience and are ‘old-hands’ doesn’t that equally mean they’re not as wholly on message as the regular army? Sometimes, with all their talk of ‘hearts and minds’ and ‘understanding the political concerns of the tribal leaders’ I think they’ve been talking too much to the Brits!

"I’m reluctant to complain but sometimes it’s a little hard to run a proper command and control for my people with those guys. It’s not so much that they’re deliberately obstructive, it’s just that - well, they’re on the spot and know their way round, and ... my guys listen to them. There’s a danger we’ll lose focus. All I ask really is that they’re reined in a little, just to get back to doing logistics. That’s what they’re paid for, isn’t it?

"It’s not a huge problem, I don’t want to make a big issue of it. I know that before my team was up to complement the logistics guys were the main point of contact with the locals. But, it’s different now. We have the right staff with the right training and we’re now in position to deliver effective, precision messages aligned to the mission.

"We can’t let anything stand in the way of that, can we?”