The Ripple Effect

Day 37
We’re in four sections now. Standing a three watch rotation. That means I’ll stand a different watch each day and the mid watch once every three days. Hum? Wonder how that will be. More time off. I struggle now to find ways to fill up the time off that I have but part of the problem there is that the time off was long enough to get bored but not long enough to get involved in something else. Now we have time to get involved in some of the MWR thing and chapel stuff. Should be good.

I talked to a guy in the showers today while we were shaving. He’s just down from up north. Spent a year in and around Fallujah. He made the comment that a lot of what is happening in that area right now is, at least in part, due to changes the Marines made when they took over. Specifically, the Army had hired Iraqis to do jobs on base. Hotel services and sanitation stuff, among other things. When the Marines took over they let all of the Iraqis go.

Some interesting issues to consider here. It is fair to assume that taking a job working for US Forces carried with it a certain amount of risk within the community. US Occupation Forces are not popular with everyone in Iraq. Secondly, with the instability of Iraq, jobs and a steady income are hard to come by. Those who had jobs on the base probably thought they had a pretty secure future, even with the risk associated with it.

Once fired, these people were likely shocked, angry and afraid. It would make sense that those people be interested in lashing out at the entity that betrayed them. They now have the motivation to work with the insurgents. They have some knowledge of the physical plants on the base. They have some knowledge of how the Army did things. Did they have any intelligence of tactical or strategic value? Probably. More significantly, the Marine very likely pissed off a bunch of families. It is interesting that a decision made by a unit commander in the field could quite possibly affect Coalition policy.

The Ripple Effect.


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