This is the end of the day on one of our patrols. You cannot see much, but I think the picture is iconic. The big truck is an MRAP – horrible thing. You cannot really drive it offroad because it bounces so much. They are not very durable either. There was a lot of politics behind getting them here so quick. I expect most of them will become part of that ever growing junk heap in Iraq.
I asked my team to dress like civilians around camp. We are issued military uniforms, but some of us just cannot wear them right. Our slovenly uniform appearance offends the Marines, so it is best to avoid the situation entirely by wearing civilian garb except when we are forward deployed.
I also took away the guns. A couple guys liked to strut strapped like the Cisco Kid. We are a civilian team. Wherever we go, Marines are there with lots of guns to protect us. If the bad guys get past them, past the 50 calibers and through the armor, my guess is that an old guy with a pistol is not going to turn the tide. The Marines have the added advantage of knowing how to use their weapons. An untrained civilians (or one whose training dates from the Johnson Administration) is more likely to shoot himself, his friends or some nearby kids than the enemy.
The real warriors don’t need some drugstore cowboys playing war. We should, all of us, do the jobs we do best. Our team is diplomatic and it is our time. “For everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven.” Or as Clint Eastwood put it more succinctly, “A man’s gotta know his limitations.”