By Wesley Morgan, who is currently embedded in Iraq. Wes writes for The Daily Princetonian and was invited to embed in Iraq by Gen. David Petraeus. His assignment in Iraq is sponsored and financed by Public Multimedia Inc.
In the tactical operations center here on Forward Operating Base Union III, a huge poster is emblazoned with the slogan “Army Strong – Cav Tough.” From what I’ve seen in the past few days as I’ve lived and ridden with the Stryker cavalry Task Force based here, called Task Force Warhorse, that slogan is true enough, but could just as well read “Army Strong – Cav Smart.” This unit – two cavalry troops and an infantry company, headquartered by the 1st Squadron, 14th Cavalry – has been in three different areas of operations in the past year and has been engaged in an enormous spectrum of operations, from neighborhood cleanup to a multiple-day, full-squadron assault on enemy positions.
Yet in its current area, based around the notorious Haifa Street in Baghdad’s Karkh security district, it has managed, with few kinks, to transition from assault mode to classical-style counterinsurgency and counter-organized crime operations that require not force and firepower but finesse and an unbelievable amount of patience. How Task Force Warhorse and its commander, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Peterson, have conducted these operations should, from my perspective at least, stand as a model for the US Army as it strains to apply Gen. David Petraeus’ “surge” strategy in central Iraq. But before diving into what I’ve seen here in Karkh, I should give a bit of background about the three main elements of the story: the area of operations, the unit, and the commander.
“The most dangerous street in Iraq”
Time and again since the fall of Baghdad more than four years ago, the name “Haifa Street” has managed to creep into war coverage that until recently has mostly focused on just two place names, Baghdad and Fallujah. Why? Because time and again, Haifa Street has emerged as a safe haven for Sunni terrorist groups like al Qaeda in Iraq, Tawhid wal-Jihad, and others. The huge (by Iraqi standards) high-rise apartments present a frustrating obstacle for clearance by US troops. Reacting to these enemy concentrations, American forces and more recently Iraqi forces have popped up here from time to time, be they 82nd Airborne paratroopers or 1st Cav mechanized troops, cleared the area or some part of it, and just as quickly disappeared. By mid-2006, with no US units regularly patrolling the area and the Iraqi unit responsible for maintaining checkpoints extremely ineffective, Haifa Street was, once again, a terrorist stronghold.
What made the Haifa Street of 2006 different and more dangerous than the situation had been in 2004 and 2005 was the introduction of brutal sectarian violence into the mix. The street itself runs through a majority-Sunni area, but to the west (to the east is the Tigris) lies a band of neighborhoods that are Shiite-dominated. A couple blocks over from Haifa Street itself, another, smaller street effectively marks the boundary between these two areas. This area is a sectarian fault line between Shia and Sunni neighborhoods.
During the second half of 2006, the Mahdi Army grew increasingly aggressive throughout Baghdad, and, particularly in areas where there was no sustained US presence, it became the one organization that was really present on the streets and helped maintain services and security. The Mahdi Army also actively displaced or murdered Sunni residents from the areas it dominated, so as Haifa Street’s Shiites turned to the Mahdi Army for help, the Sunni were killed or pushed back into their own majority-Sunni areas, increasing the sharpness of the fault line. This problem was exacerbated by the Mahdi Army’s effective infiltration of many of the Iraqi units based in the area: Lt. Col. Peterson said that when his troops arrived, one full company of Iraqi troops “was 100 percent Jaish al-Mahdi.”
With no real US presence in the area and the Iraqi Security Forces dominated if not run by the same Mahdi Army that they needed protection against, Sunni residents turned toward extremist terrorist groups for assistance: the Iraqi and foreign insurgents who fell under al Qaeda in Iraq, the affiliated Abu Omar Brigades, and the similarly motivated but separate group Tawhid wal-Jihad promised to push back against the aggression of the Mahdi Army and provide security. They, too, of course, had a sectarian agenda: in addition to protecting the Sunni populace of Haifa Street against the Mahdi Army, they also killed as many of the remaining Shiite residents as possible and made the area a base for terrorist attacks in other parts of Baghdad.
By late 2006, with brutal killings by both sides rampant in the area and municipal services nonexistent, many of Haifa Street’s wealthier residents – the professors, doctors, and lawyers who inhabited the upscale high-rises – had fled with their families, leaving abandoned apartments that al Qaeda was quick to take over and use for housing. It was, according to Peterson, “the most dangerous street in Iraq.” At the very least, it was certainly on par with extremist-dominated places like Baqubah Arab Jabour, and Doura.
In January 2007, with al Qaeda, the Omar Brigades, and Tawhid wal-Jihad based in Haifa Street effectively unopposed, Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, the commander of Multinational Corps Iraq (MNC-I) and main US operational commander, ordered a full-scale offensive to dislodge the enemy. With 1-23 Infantry as its main element, the unit responsible for quick-reaction duties in Baghdad, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division (3rd SBCT, 2nd ID), launched Operation Arrowhead Strike V, a battalion-plus-scale attack up Haifa Street. For days on end, the Strykers, infantry, and snipers of 1-23 Infantry, backed by Apache attack helicopters and precision-guided bombs, fought the Sunni enemy street by street and building by building. By February, after weeks of fierce fighting, al Qaeda and its allies had effectively been driven out of the Haifa Street area.
With a presence on Haifa Street no longer tenable for al Qaeda and Tawhid wal-Jihad, and with no US units patrolling the area after 1-23 Infantry moved on to another offensive elsewhere in Baghdad, the Mahdi Army was unopposed. During February and March, Shiite militia elements began to exert more control than ever before over Haifa Street, forcing the population to pay them for security, water, electricity, and other commodities and strong-arming local businesses into employing militia loyalists. “They had their fingers in everything, like the mafia,” one officer from Task Force Warhorse said; Peterson, his intelligence officer, and enlisted soldiers down through the ranks describe the Mahdi Army’s behavior as reminiscent of American organized crime. To roll the Mahdi Army back, a sustained US presence would be required, and with the “surge” forces arriving in and around Baghdad, there were enough American troops to provide one, for the first time in more than two years. So in April, Task Force Warhorse took charge of the area and began operations.
Task Force Warhorse
Task Force Warhorse is a small unit, but it is a battle-hardened one. At its core, it is 1-14 Cavalry, a Stryker reconnaissance squadron, but for the Iraq deployment, it surrendered one of its three cavalry troops (a troop is the cavalry equivalent of a company) and gained an infantry company, so that it was made up of these three elements: Apocalypse Troop (A/1-14 Cavalry), Crazyhorse Troop (C/1-14 Cavalry), and Charlie Rock Company (C/5-20 Infantry). For most of the deployment, a civil affairs team was also attached to the squadron. Apocalypse and Crazyhorse, the cavalry troops, are basically recon units, each with about 90 soldiers, while Charlie Rock, the infantry unit, has close to 170 soldiers, and has provided most of the Task Force’s dismounted combat power. There is naturally some tension between the cavalry troopers and the infantrymen, particularly since the larger infantry company is assigned more patrols than the smaller cavalry troops, but from what I have seen that tension does not seem strong enough to affect how the Task Force’s operates, and most of the infantrymen seem to trust the squadron leadership despite the difference in branch and culture.
When the squadron first arrived in Iraq and set up operations in July 2006, its area of operations was the part of the east Rashid security district known as south Doura. While north Doura was (and still is, with five US battalions at work there) a majority-Sunni area dominated by al Qaeda, south Doura was a mixed area. The neighborhoods of Abu Tashir and Mekanik, in particular, had large populations of both Sunni and Shiite and saw bloody fighting between al Qaeda and the Mahdi Army. Task Force Warhorse, based out of Forward Operating Base Falcon in Baghdad’s southern outskirts, was responsible for south Doura from July through this past March. During that time, its platoons and squads were often engaged in heavy fighting against both al Qaeda and the Shiite militias. At times these units came under fire from Mahdi Army-dominated police units. Sniper attacks and rockets, along with the occasional IED, were incessant problems, and the menace of al Qaeda car bomb attacks on majority-Shiite markets loomed large.
To protect against the specter of car bombs, the squadron created barriers into and out of the main market neighborhood of Mekanik. These barriers, combined with a complete ban on Iraqi forces inside the barriers to prevent them from intimidating or killing Sunni residents, slowly caused sectarian killings to decline. By February, with a smaller, neighborhood-run security zone now set up inside the main secure area, violence had declined steeply in south Doura. Then Task Force Warhorse was abruptly pulled out of the area and sent to Forward Operating Base Union III in the International or “Green” Zone; within weeks, the unit that replaced them, the newly built 1-4 Cavalry squadron of the 1st Infantry Division, quickly lost control over the area.
At Union III, Task Force Warhorse was told that it would soon take over operations on Haifa Street, but first, it had an offensive to launch. Task Force Warhorse was ordered to storm the Mahdi Army-infiltrated city of Diwaniyah in the Polish area of operations down on the Euphrates. After planning and preparations, the squadron drove from Union III down to Forward Operating Base Kalsu, near Iskandariyah, where it stayed for a few days to stage, and then attacked directly into Diwaniyah. The most intense part of the fighting, reminiscent of the Euphrates city battles of 2003 or smaller versions of the Fallujah and Baqubah ffensives, lasted 36 hours. With Charlie Rock as the main effort, the squadron pushed into Diwaniyah in the face of RPG, mortar, and small-arms attacks, killing upwards of 20 Mahdi militiamen in close combat. For about two more weeks, 1-14 remained in Diwaniyah to stabilize the situation, and then redeployed to Union III to begin operations on Haifa Street. (After Task Force Warhorse was pulled out of Diwaniyah, there was no replacement unit, and this summer the Polish and Iraqi bases outside Diwaniyah have been subjected to the most intense rocket and mortar attacks that they have endured since the Mahdi Army rebellion of 2004.)
A final point about Task Force Warhorse is that, like almost every Army unit in Iraq, it learned while deployed that it would stay in Iraq for 15 months rather than a year. Task Force Warhorse, though, learned this 10 months into its deployment and just two months before it was scheduled to come home. Right now, if not for the three-month extension, the squadron would already be home at Fort Lewis, Washington. Instead, it is still in Baghdad, with a month to go. This leads to an understandable degree of bitterness among the soldiers of the Task Force.
“A true believer”
The man who led 1-14 Cavalry and Task Force Warhorse through the successful counterinsurgency effort in south Doura and the fight in Diwaniyah, who leads them now on Haifa Street, and who trained them to deploy is Lt. Col. Jeffrey Peterson, a bald, tallish officer with an inherent sense for how to lead enlisted soldiers and an intense stare that hints at just how intelligent he is. A 1987 graduate of West Point, he commissioned into the armor branch, he says, because he “loved the idea of working with tanks,” but then branched off into the armor subset of cavalry (doctrinally and organizationally, if not operationally, cavalry units are oriented more toward reconnaissance than straight-up combat like armor and infantry). He later attended MIT’s Sloan School of Business, where he earned his master’s degree, and then returned to West Point to teach economics.
Peterson is also a strong leader of combat soldiers: the troopers and infantrymen of the Task Force have overwhelmingly expressed their admiration for him to me while I’ve been out with them. One infantryman told me that “Peterson’s a jackass” and another that “the colonel’s all right, I guess,” but many more cavalry troopers have said to me, either when asked about the squadron commander or spontaneously in conversation, that “he’s the smartest officer I’ve ever been under” or “I don’t know what we’re doing in this country, but he does.” Even the fiercest critic of the cavalry (and of the war, and of the Army, and of Maliki, and of Petraeus) that I have met, a ferociously angry infantry sniper from Charlie Rock, had this to say about Peterson: “Yeah, he’s cavalry, but he’s a good leader. He fights for us, tries to get us the gear we need, and he’s really smart. He’s a good commander.” (This from a soldier who moments before had condemned the leadership of cavalry officers out of hand.)
What’s truly remarkable about Peterson is his extreme aptitude for counterinsurgency, not something that was trained into the cavalry officers of the 1980s and 1990s (and often, in fact, something that was actively discouraged). Although as a captain he strongly opposed the presence of US troops in places like Haiti and Bosnia – “I used to say that if I was ordered to Bosnia, I’d resign my commission; that’s how strongly I felt that the US Army should not be doing nation building and peacekeeping,” he told me – he is now one of the relatively few battalion and squadron commanders, arguably the most crucial echelon in the current war, with a strong understanding of and belief in the classical counterinsurgency doctrine espoused by Gen. Petraeus and the new Army-Marine field manual on counterinsurgency operations, and is also one of the even smaller number of officers with the tactical flexibility to employ and adjust that doctrine on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis instead of using a less effective blanket approach. The barriers around Mekanik in south Doura were his innovation, and a risky one of which higher command echelons were initially skeptical before adopting, in a more rigid form, in Ghaziliyah and Adhamiyah, to the outrage of the international press.
The barriers are a prime example of Peterson’s flexible tactics: the approach is not described in the new field manual, but does, in some specific cases, fit perfectly with it, and with the classical doctrine on which it is based. He patrols outside the wire every day in order to ensure that community leaders know him, and greets children, cooperative local businessmen, and obviously corrupt Sadrists alike with an impeccably pronounced “Salaam aleikum” – a small thing, but in operations where rapport with the populace is key, a critical one. And perhaps most importantly, he blends this approach with his ability to lead, effectively communicating the non-kinetic tactics required down to the lower ranks of the squadron; in his office and in other rooms in the Task Force headquarters, a series of guidelines titled “Warhorse 6 Commander’s Guidance,” highly visible on the walls, clearly states the squadron’s objectives on Haifa Street and describes in detail the four “key tasks” of control, partnership, civil works, and governance. The bitter sniper from Charlie Rock, who does not accept the usefulness of counterinsurgency, grudgingly told me that “the colonel’s a true believer – you can tell he really thinks this stuff will work, even if it takes ——– forever.” That kind of patience in the face of adversity is exactly what counterinsurgency requires for success.
Peterson did not learn counterinsurgency from the new manual; he was employing it to great effect in south Doura while Petraeus and his associates were still editing the first draft. When I asked him how he developed the approach his squadron uses on Haifa Street and used in Doura, he promptly rattled off a list of books on counterinsurgency – some classics and some more obscure – and on combating organized crime. An officer who is not afraid to be candid (it helps, he says, that “I’m going to West Point for my next assignment and staying there, so I’m not worried about being promoted”) and who has undergone a professional about-face in his attitudes toward non-kinetic warfare, Peterson has a personality and approach that help give his squadron a fighting chance at success in the unbelievably complex task of building and enforcing peace in war-torn Baghdad.
Counterinsurgency on Haifa Street
I’ve been with Task Force Warhorse for a few days now and have patrolled mounted and on foot with Lt. Col. Peterson and his security squad as well as with the infantrymen of Charlie Rock, for a total of five patrols so far (and another, with Crazyhorse Troop, tomorrow); I’ve also spent the night at COP Remagen, the combat outpost that the squadron has established at the northern end of its sector, and sat in on the battle update briefings. That’s not a lot to go on, I know, but from what I’ve seen, this squadron has achieved a nearly mythical goal: it has applied classical, non-kinetic counterinsurgency tactics, been patient, and seen undeniable results. What seven months ago was a festering haven of heavily armed Sunni militants is now effectively secure, to the point that Peterson estimates that “we do not have al Qaeda, Tawhid wal-Jihad, or any other Sunni insurgents in our area, except, at most, the occasional scouting or surveillance elements.” The Mahdi Army does not have armed elements in the area either, although it remains extremely active. The result: since 1-14 began operations on Haifa Street at the end of April, there has not been a single insurgent attack, Sunni or Shia, in the entire area of operations. Although the enemy could always return, and the squadron, like the rest of the Army in Iraq, is at a loss as to how to roll back the pervasive influence of the Mahdi Army on civilian infrastructure, the short-term security piece appears to be completely solid here – a remarkable achievement for Task Force Warhorse.
How did the Task Force reach this point? The fact there have been zero insurgent attacks, as opposed to just a few, “is probably luck,” as the colonel puts it. But at a more basic level, it seems to me that 1-14 Cav’s success here stems from effective and simultaneous prosecution of operations along all four lines that Peterson identifies to his soldiers in his command guidance: control, partnership, civil works, and governance. There has absolutely not been equal success in those four areas, but what Peterson recognizes and – a much more difficult proposition – acts on is that unless all four lines are being pursued at once, regardless of which one seems most important at the time, success in none of them will be sustained.
The first piece of the equation, and the most controversial, is control, which 1-14’s command guidance defines as “preventing the enemy from operating effectively in the area of operations.” Control is the one element of counterinsurgency that the whole Army agrees is critical, but it is also the most misunderstood and misused element; it was, for example, in the name of controlling the area of operations that the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division routinely shelled villages around Baqubah ith 155mm fire back in 2003, and that, as recently as 2006, Col. Mike Steele’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division launched the brutally aggressive sweeps near Bayji that have now led to murder charges and subpoenas. But control was also the name of the game when the celebrated Col. H. R. McMaster carefully cordoned off, advanced through, and set up multiple outposts in the city of Tel Afar with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, one of few urban clearances in Iraq that have actually led to sustained security in the aftermath of combat. Most combat commanders, although not all theoreticians of counterinsurgency recognize that before rebuilding and governance projects can go forward, a basic threshold of security must be met. As Peterson describes it, the challenge and controversy of control operations is “correctly estimating where that threshold lies, and not either shifting focus to the next phase too early or prolonging the kinetic raids and sweeps that make up the control part so long that you cause problems.” The problems he means, of course, are the often severe consequences when US troops use greater force than necessary, as doctrine for conventional combat requires them to: “If we kick in 10 doors and find 10 AKs, but in the process create 50 insurgents, that has not been a productive operation.”
In 1-14’s area of operations, where al Qaeda’s presence is minimal and the Mahdi Army’s is more covert and economic than militant, Peterson’s understanding of this threshold for control operations has led to a very law enforcement-like posture for the squadron; the missions the troopers ride on seem more like something you would see in Bosnia than Iraq. “If I need doors kicked in or an objective stormed, and if there is a strong, imminent threat, my troopers will fight, and Charlie Rock will be at the front, as they were in Diwaniyah,” the colonel says. “That fight was high-intensity, what a Stryker Task Force should do doctrinally, and we fought it. Here, though, that is not what is required, so it is not what we do. Our most recent operation, for example, where we set up a fictitious situation to lure four IA [Iraqi Army] officers who were working for Jaish al-Mahdi, some of the soldiers were saying it seemed more like ‘Ocean’s 13′ than war, and they were right. But that’s what’s needed here.” That operation, and others like it, are how Warhorse brings in the enemy – by tricking and arresting him and when necessary dragging him in, but not by cordoning, shooting, and kicking in doors. “It used to be, the Army way would have been, instead of setting up this situation to bring them in, to cordon the whole block in the middle of the night, have shooters kick in the doors, knock everything around, and cuff the suspects and throw them facedown on the floor. There is no reason to be doing that unless it is absolutely necessary.”
Another key difference between Task Force Warhorse’s approach to control and that of units that have failed in Iraq is that this squadron recognizes that there is more to security operations than bringing in suspects. The command guidance for the Task Force puts equal emphasis on the tasks: “Target enemy cells with unilateral and combined raids,” “Conduct persistent surveillance from random platoon observation points,” and “Establish COP Remagen.” Building a COP, or combat outpost, has become an integral part of the operations of every brigade and most battalions in Iraq under Petraeus’ command, to such an extent that sometimes COPs are built where they are not useful simply because guidance from above says there should be a certain number of COPs. Peterson and his squadron intelligence officer, Capt. Baker, are both of the school of thought that COPs should be built on a more limited basis than they have been for the past seven months. For one thing, they point out, “Force protection at COPs can at times eat up almost half your dismounts, which actually limits rather than facilitates your ability to mount patrols.” The emphasis, Peterson says in another example of flexible application of counterinsurgency doctrine, should be on the patrolling itself rather than on where the patrols are based. The surveillance piece, on the other hand, comes naturally to a cavalry unit but has not been emphasized to the degree that building COPs has – yet understanding what the military calls “human terrain,” or the geographical breakdown of a population by class, ethnicity, religion, politics, and other criteria, is an absolutely essential element of successful counterinsurgency.
This approach is frustrating to many of Warhorse’s soldiers, particularly the attached infantrymen from Charlie Rock: “We’re not like the cavalry,” one infantry radio operator told me while out on patrol in a Sunni area, “we joined up to fight the bad guys and kill the bad guys, and we trained for that, and that’s what we should be doing.” (The fact that Charlie Rock’s parent battalion, 5-20 Infantry, led the assault without them in Baqubah his June does not help the company’s morale.)
Peterson’s response to soldiers with this attitude (and there are many, many of them): “Get over it. I understand their frustration, and sometimes I share it, and they can think whatever they want to think. But they have to be soldiers and do their job – and, no matter what they think, that’s exactly what they do.” That’s a very fair answer, and one that’s extremely relevant to the Army as it goes forward in Iraq: soldiers will probably never like knocking on doors instead of kicking them down and asking suspected terrorists to come with them instead of dragging them in, but just because they hate it doesn’t mean they won’t do it well. Very often, no matter how much they complain, the same soldiers who, like the seething snipers I patrolled with, criticize their mission with every breath also perform that mission impeccably.
The method for gathering “human terrain” data, though, is as frustrating to combat-oriented infantrymen and cavalry troopers as the lack of raids is; spending hours walking the streets or peering through binoculars at the top of high rises, observing and noting everything that happens and everyone who goes by, often seems at the squad level to be worse than useless, and when the stakes are life and death, that’s a very difficult reality. “The job my friend died doing, visiting a playground to see if it was in good condition,” one young sergeant said today at a memorial service for three soldiers from another Stryker unit, “sometimes does not seem worth the sacrifice they made.” Both Gen. Petraeus, the counterinsurgency strategist, and Lt. Col. Peterson, one of the practitioners, were in the audience, and I wondered what thoughts ran through their heads when the soldier made that remark.
The other three elements of the mission that Peterson outlines in his command intent tend to be even more frustrating for soldiers. One, and probably the hardest of all for US soldiers, is partnering with Iraqi Army, Police, and National Police forces. While every soldier at every level knows that the war cannot possibly be won without devoting effort to training the Iraqi Security Forces, the cultural divide, and often the sheer incompetence of Iraqi officers and NCOs, breeds disrespect and even hatred among many American troops. Every time we passed a checkpoint, the soldiers I was walking with would point out to me the miserable discipline of the Iraqis manning it, particularly if it was a police checkpoint – ragged uniforms of mismatched patterns, unlaced boots, slouched posture, and random American military patches. With varying proportions of amusement, disgust, and fury, I’ve heard at least half a dozen times the story of how the Iraqi soldiers at COP Remagen refuse to use the latrines and instead defecate in their living quarters – “and then,” as one officer said, “after they —- all over the barracks we build them and sell the wiring, they have the gall to complain that the US Army isn’t helping them enough.”
That many Iraqi security personnel are risking not just their lives but the lives of their entire families is easy to forget under these circumstances. It isn’t a recipe for trust and patience, but patience is what’s required – there is no other way. Eventually, as senior sergeants tell me wherever I go in this country, “the Iraqis are going to have to get their act together and do it themselves.” Until then, our soldiers are stuck with the important but often miserable job of training them.
The third and fourth elements of Task Force Warhorse’s mission – rebuilding municipal infrastructure and government – are also frustrating for many soldiers who feel like they should be in Baqubah illing the enemy, but others, often cavalry troopers rather than infantrymen, seem to find them rewarding at some level, if tedious. Soldiers in many parts of Iraq – Rashid district, Baqubah Arab Jabour – will probably not stay long enough to see these parts of the mission pay off, but on Haifa Street, 1-14’s efforts have improved civil infrastructure drastically: the main street, at least, is no dirtier than, say, Delhi, clean water is widely available, and newly installed generators ensure that many of the high rises have lights on in some apartments well into the night.
The political side, where the Mahdi Army dominates absolutely everything, has seen much less progress and is not likely to advance as quickly as the civil works side, if at all, but that subject is worth a whole other article. “This hearts and minds bull” is boring for some soldiers and infuriating for others, but the majority of the troopers and many of the infantrymen I spoke to do recognize the necessity of the work – and even if they don’t recognize it, they soldier on and get it done, collecting trash or cleaning soccer fields as ordered even as they understandably groan about the dull, pedestrian nature of the job that so many combat troops now find themselves doing. It is how the Army works, and with a bit of luck and lot of patience, it is how counterinsurgency will work not just on Haifa Street but in many other neighborhoods in Baghdad after they have been cleared.
Only time will tell, but it seems that on Haifa Street, the monotonous, frustrating duties that counterinsurgency operations entail are paying dividends: Task Force Warhorse has not suffered a casualty since it began patrolling the area and, although vast amounts of work remain to be done, the civilian infrastructure and economy are slowly improving. One can only hope that the unit replacing 1-14 Cav, 4-2 Cav out of Germany, proves as patient and adept at the difficult task of building and keeping Baghdad’s peace.
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