Yearly Archives: 2005


Happy New Year from the Roggio family! Chris Muir of Day By Day pens a cartoon on the Washington Post article on my embed:

The Future Fight in Iraq

With the wrap up of “The Anbar Campaign” , the fight against the Iraqi insurgency is changing its nature. Large scale clear & hold operations such as Sword, Iron Fist, Rivergate, and Steel Curtain are less likely to be executed, as the efforts are moving more and more towards reconstruction/civil military affairs operations and a […]

Counterterrorism Efforts in Arabia

An often overlooked theater in the war against al Qaeda’s global network is right in the heart of the Middle East on the Arabian Peninsula. Saudi Arabia is a troubled ally in the War on Terror, as their internal politics and government support of the radical Wahabi strain of Islam often conflicts with fighting al […]

Post Election Developments

The results of Iraq’s first fully independent parliamentary election are still in question. Robert Mayer is concerned about the discord over the election results. But Omar at Iraq the Model sees hope, as there are negotiations among the leaders of the major parties. The summit between “the leaders of the four major lists (Allawi, Adnan […]

Disinformation Operations

Monday’s Washington Post featured an article written by Jonathan Finer and Doug Struck titled Bloggers, Money Now Weapons in Information War – U.S. Recruits Advocates to the Front, Pays Iraqi TV Stations for Coverage, of which my embed in Iraq was the subject of scrutiny as a military information operation. There are three problems with […]

Progress in Iraq

Operation Moonlight, the first brigade sized operation in Western Anbar province ends. While the tangible results are minimal, a single weapons cache was uncovered, the fact the operation was entirely driven by the Iraqi brigade, from intelligence, planning, manpower, to execution, is significant. America’s Son, a blogger and Marine Military Policeman who worked with the […]

Operation Moonlight, with a Twist

KUWAIT CITY: On the evening of my departure from Iraq, I had the pleasure to have dinner and a long conversation with Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Starling, the operations officer of Regimental Combat Team – 2. As the operations officer, Lt. Col. Starling is the architect of the slew of operations which culminated with Steel Curtain, […]

al Qaeda’s Democracy Problem

AL ASAD AIR BASE, IRAQ: The day before the parliamentary election, al Qaeda issued an “urgent statement announcing new attacks launched today against the American and Iraqi forces’ ‘strongholds,’ and to spoil ‘their celebrations of ‘democratic’ disbelief and adultery.’” Other Islamists and Salafist terrorist groups offered less than forceful protestations of the election and vowed […]

Election Reflections

AL ASAD AIR BASE, IRAQ: My impressions from Election Day in Barwana are available at The Weekly Standard – Election Day on the Eurphrates – Democracy vs. Zarqawi. Many of the photos I took are available in a flash presentation of the voting from Husaybah, Sadah and Barwana. There is one story from Election Day […]

Voting in Barwana

BARWANA, IRAQ: The polls have been open for six hours in the town of Barwana, one of the three Triad cities which include Haqlaniyah and Haditha. The poll site sits right beneath the now-destroyed Barwana bridge, where Zarqawi terrorists routinely executed residents for not conforming to their perverse interpretation of Islam. Purple Fingers for All!. […]

Jihadis, Elections and Ramadi

RAMADI, IRAQ: As Election Day quickly approaches in Iraq, the various jihadi factions and the non-jihadist insurgents are taking their varied positions on how to deal with the voting process. The domestic insurgents, foreign fighters and jihadist do not have a unified position on how to deal with the electoral process, and their official statements […]

On Route Michigan

RAMADI, IRAQ: In war, the ability to adapt to the enemy’s tactics is crucial to maintaining the initiative. The insurgency in Iraq does not have the ability to defeat the Coalition using conventional means; in every engagement at the platoon size or greater, the insurgency has been thoroughly defeated. Because of this, the insurgency adapted […]

A Shift in Operations

RAMADI, IRAQ: If you have a discussion with military officers in Western Anbar Province about the current and future status of military operations in the region, invariably the conversation will lead you to the reconstruction efforts of the Coalition. The phrases “switching from kinetic to non-kinetic operations” or “moving from kinetic operations to reconstruction” are […]

Afternoon with the Azerbaijani

HADITHA DAM, IRAQ: When I first arrived at the Haditha Dam, troops in U.S. Army patterned desert camouflage were marching in formation to dinner. It was odd, as it was the first time I witnessed troops marching in Iraq. Upon closer inspection, the soldiers were carrying folding stock AK-47, and it dawned upon me that […]

On the Offensive in Ramadi

HADITHA DAM, IRAQ: Coalition forces continue to chip away at the insurgency in Ramadi. The latest operation, Rams consists of “approximately 100 Iraqi Army Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Division and 400 Soldiers from the 2/28 Brigade Combat Team” . Five al Qaeda in Iraq suspects have been captured. Four IEDs and […]

Patrolling Haqlaniyah

HAQLANIYAH, IRAQ: The drive from Haditha Dam to Haglaniyah was fast and furious. The night starts with a ride in the back of an open 7 ton transport with a crew from Sky News and a team of Marines. The convoy roared down the roads at high speed during the night in blackout conditions, making […]

On the Euphrates

HADITHA DAM, IRAQ: The company of Marines known as the Dam Security Unit are a unique bunch. The DSU is a one of a kind unit in the Marine Corps. They are primarily made of of reservists, almost 90% of them. And they come from units across the county; Texas, Florida, Virginia, Indiana and Mississippi. […]

After Rivergate

HADITHA DAM, IRAQ: The morning convoy from al-Asad Air Base to Haditha Dam was quick, considering the large number of vehicles. There were numerous contractors, mainly from Kellogg, Brown & Root, intermixed with the military train to the dam. The trip was uneventful and the desert scenery was beautiful. The Haditha Dam and the lake […]

The Teufelhunden of the 3/6

CAMP AL QAIM, IRAQ: Walk into the battalion headquarters of the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment at Camp Al Qaim, and three things will immediately catch your eye. The first is the tribute to the Marines of the 3/6 killed in Iraq. The memorial consists of rifle bayonet-point into the ground, a Marines’ helmet resting […]

The Ramadi Debacle

AL QAIM, IRAQ: The reported “mini-Tet offensive” in Ramadi has turned out to be less than accurate. In fact, it has been anything but. The __Associated Press__ reported a massive citywide insurgent attack, and Reuters and other news outlets quickly picked up on the story. Captain Jeffery Pool, Public Affairs Officer for the 2nd Marine […]

The Sulemani

HUSAYBAH, IRAQ: Thursday morning started off with strikes at undisclosed locations near the Syrian border against unknown targets. Bombs and gunfire rained from the sky in the early hours during darkness. No information is available about the results of the attack. I took a trip to Battle Position Hue City for a meeting between the […]

Transferring Control

HUSAYBAH, IRAQ: The morning began with a patrol in the darkness to a home on the far side of Husaybah. 1st Platoon of Lima Company, 3rd Marines, 6th Battalion, received a tip that am Improvised Explosive Device was located outside the home. After a scan of the property, the joint Marine & Iraqi Army squad […]

Operation Iron Hammer in Hit

HUSAYBAH, IRAQ: Coalition forces have launched Operation Iron Hammer in the city of Hit. This is a multi-battalion operation consisting of one Iraqi and two to three U.S. battalions; approximately 500 Iraqi Army soldiers from 2nd Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division and 1,500 Marines and Sailors from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit along with 500 […]

Combined Forces

HUSAYBAH, IRAQ: A new batch of Iraqi troops rotated into service at Battle Position Beirut as the last group was heading out on leave. The Iraqi soldiers are an extremely friendly bunch and very interested in getting to know you. Several of the soldiers spoke English, and served as translators for the groups who came […]

Walking Husaybah

The nighttime mounted patrol in Husaybah was followed by a pair of foot patrols. I linked up with the 1st Platoon of Lima Company of the 3rd Marines, 6th Battalion, call sign Jackal 1. 1st Lieutenant William Oren took me on a patrol through the southern neighborhoods outside of Battle Position Beirut. We snaked through […]

The Hounds of Husaybah

HUSAYBAH, IRAQ: The evening kicked off with a ride in the darkness from Camp Qaim, which is situated at the railroad station South of Al Qaim, to Camp Gannon, the outpost that sits directly between the city of Husaybah and the Syrian border. The ride was uneventful, and the convoy of up-armored Hummers passed through […]

Steel Curtain Unmasked

AL QAIM: The western branch of the Euphrates River, what is know as the Al Qa’im region, which spans from Husaybah on the Syrian border to the town of Ubaydi, at a heart-shaped bend in the river, has long been a haven for al Qaeda and the insurgency. While the problem was well known, for […]

Terrorists’ Toys For Tots

AL ASAD AIR BASE, IRAQ: The Thanksgiving Day car bombing in the town of Mahmudiyah encapsulates the nature of terror attacks directed at the Iraq people. Thursday’s attack killed thirty and wounded forty. The location was a hospital, and the target was American troops handing out toys and food to children. ABC News voices the […]

Operational Issues

BAGHDAD, IRAQ: As Operation Steel Curtain on the Syrian border comes to a close, the Coalition continues to press operations in hot areas. Ramadi, which has been the focus of numerous small scale operations over the past months, most recently Panthers and Bruins, is the focus of Operation Lions. The operation is aimed at southern […]