Posted July 10th, 2007 by lex
An interesting article ** today in the LA Times laying out the efforts of an Army lieutenant colonel in Diyala province to bring local sheiks into the light in the same way that was done in the “Anbar Awakening” – a task complicated by Diyala’s more heterogenous population of Sunnis and Shia.
Over three tours in Iraq, the tall, skinny Army lieutenant colonel from Southern Pines, N.C., has been known for commanding with a focus on relationships as much as on firepower.
At the halfway point of its tour, his 1,000-strong 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry, has seen 26 men killed and 99 injured. At a recent memorial service for a 21-year-old father of two young boys, Goins told his soldiers that the difference between them and the so-called “greatest generation” of World War II is, “We say, ‘I love you’ to each other more often.”
For him, the devotion to his troops meant sitting down for tea with sheiks who, in some cases, he privately hated and believed to have aided the Al Qaeda-linked operatives who killed his men.
“What’s hard for me is irrelevant, though,” Goins said. “What’s personal and professional are two different things. Nobody gives a damn what your feelings are. You have to go where the information and the intelligence drive you.”
“When we talk to this guy, we know we are talking directly to a moderate member of Al Qaeda. His family is Al Qaeda, the people around him are Al Qaeda, he’s Al Qaeda.”
** 09-16-2018 Original link gone; replacement found – Ed.