The Truth On the Ground By Ben Connable

When I told people that I was getting ready to head back to Iraq for my third tour, the usual response was a frown, a somber head shake and even the occasional “I’m sorry.” When I told them that I was glad to be going back, the response was awkward disbelief, a fake smile and a change of subject. The common wisdom seems to be that Iraq is an unwinnable war and a quagmire and that the only thing left to decide is how quickly we withdraw. Depending on which poll you believe, about 60 percent of Americans think it’s time to pull out of Iraq.

How is it, then, that 64 percent of U.S. military officers think we will succeed if we are allowed to continue our work? Why is there such a dramatic divergence between American public opinion and the upbeat assessment of the men and women doing the fighting?

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  1. It is not that I do not see the points of “Truth on the Ground’ thinking but it is a mind set of the military that only power can fix a problem. Age old thinking. Having lived in that society for many many years I do understand that reasoning but there are other ways to fix things than killing more people, even if you wish to say that they died for a good cause. If you die from a smart bomb it is hardly different than being blown up by a terrorist and the Marine behind one carries somewhat the same guilt as the terrorist.

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