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December 29, 2004

Snipers As Community Builders

In Tikrit, Iraq Lt. Col. Jeffrey Sinclair, commander of the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment combines community building with snipers on rooftops and house raids. It's a "delicate balance," that got jacked up yesterday when Iraqi soldiers were attacked yesterday on the outskirts of town. But on the bright side, there's Blues Clues in Tikrit.

From "Calm Is Broken in Hussein's Home Town," by Josh White, WaPo:

Soldiers have quietly monitored the people of Tikrit, implementing operations with such names as Orange Crush and Blues Clues to identify, photograph and tag all taxicabs and their drivers and all local Iraqi police vehicles. Those steps are aimed at securing the vehicles against use by insurgents. Operation Stock Market has logged all businesses in the city.

Sinclair has developed a relationship with the local sheiks, meets regularly with government councils, speaks to Tikrit University students and hosts a call-in radio show to answer questions. He walks the streets to encourage the sharing of information, and he has disbursed money to local stores to create jobs.

At the same time, U.S. troops have stationed artillery on the city's outskirts, placed quick-reaction forces in the surrounding desert, put snipers on rooftops and conducted frequent raids of area homes.

This is the best we've done in Iraq. I'm not clear why we need snipers on rooftops and home raids to secure the peace. But there you go.

Posted by cj at December 29, 2004 12:25 PM

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freedom and democracy american style... what a swell job!

Posted by: denny at December 30, 2004 12:15 AM

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