View Full Version : Exclusive: What’s New in Iraq

08-10-07, 11:13 AM
Exclusive: What’s New in Iraq
W. Thomas Smith Jr.

Author: W. Thomas Smith Jr.
Source: The Family Security Foundation, Inc.
Date: August 10, 2007

FSM Contributing Editor W. Thomas Smith, Jr., is currently on assignment in Iraq for NRO Online. I emailed him the other day to find out how he was doing and his return email, as brief as it was, spoke volumes about our ever-improving situation there.

What’s New in Iraq
By W. Thomas Smith Jr.


Hi, and greetings from the Al Qaim sector -- the last series of American outposts in Iraq on the Syrian border. This will be quick, because Internet access is hit or miss.

Anyway, morale is astonishingly high among Marines, sailors, and soldiers here (I see it primarily among Marines because I am embedded with the Marines' Regimental Combat Team 2), and that includes everyone from the most seasoned combat veteran to the youngest leatherneck fresh from boot camp.

I don't think morale ever really wavered under generals before Petraeus, but it is certainly high under him.

Here in Al Anbar, it is high because Marines believe in what they are doing and they're seeing the results at ground zero from the tips they are getting from Iraqis on the street to the bad guys they've been nabbing and killing. I've been writing about this almost daily in my updates at NRO's The Tank

If anything might be a morale sapper in this region it would be the heat, isolation, the threat of ambush, negative news from home, and politics.

But we are winning (as I've explained numerous times), and that has been why morale has remained constant, especially among Marines. And it is why Marine recruiting numbers continue to exceed goal, particularly in the infantry MOSs and for those tasked with convoy duties out on the always dangerous highways.

Hope you are all well.

Best and Semper Fi,


currently on assignment in Iraq

for National Review Online

So it appears that, once again, the nay-sayers in Congress – thank God - have it all wrong. As sorry as I feel for them (they must be embarrassed to have suffered so many misjudgments), I’m thrilled for such brave soldiers as our dear W. Thomas Smith, Jr.

God bless you and keep you Tom…we’re so proud of you!