On April 1, we published a pessimistic assessment of the situation in Iraq by a soldier from Minnesota who works in intelligence in the southern part of the country. His evaluation was well-informed and gloomy. (As regular readers know, we have also published a number of more optimistic assessments.) Patterico solicited responses to our correspondent’s email from two servicemen who are stationed in Anbar; the first, by guest blogger Badger 6, is here. An excerpt:
Blogging and reporting about the situation in Iraq is complex and difficult. What is true in one block may not be true in the next block and while the General Officers have an overall view, it becomes difficult for them to roll all of their assessments into one neat little sound bite. Conversely the Private or Lieutenant will know his or her one area of Iraq very well, much better than his or her Senior Leaders because that is all they are responsible for. If things are going well in that small area, the situation can seem very good; obviously then the opposite is true, if your area is going poorly then the whole thing may appear quite dismal.
The biggest mistake I think the the Powerline correspondent makes, is using his or her localized experience as a template for all of Iraq.
The second response, by an Army Combat Engineer in the area around Fallujah and Ramadi, is here. An excerpt: