by Jim Nintzel
Is the surge working? We've heard plenty from both sides as the deadline approaches for Gen. David Petraeus to deliver his much-anticipated report to Congress.
The New York Times has an assessment from a group of soldiers who seem awfully pessimistic about the chances of success in Iraq, if success is defined as building a functional democracy--or even giving a hint of security to the Iraqi people.
To believe that Americans, with an occupying force that long ago outlived its reluctant welcome, can win over a recalcitrant local population and win this counterinsurgency is far-fetched. As responsible infantrymen and noncommissioned officers with the 82nd Airborne Division soon heading back home, we are skeptical of recent press coverage portraying the conflict as increasingly manageable and feel it has neglected the mounting civil, political and social unrest we see every day. (Obviously, these are our personal views and should not be seen as official within our chain of command.)