I am enthralled with Michael Yon's Dispatches from Iraq. Michael is an independent journalist, with no ties to any organization and who depends on reader contributions to support his dispatches. He comes from my state of Massachusetts, takes his own photographs, travels with units in the army, and delivers the best war reporting I've ever seen from his own blog.
He is a now and present journalist star.
If you have only been reading the main stream media about how bad the war is going, you will be surprised to learn from Michael that the Coalition is winning because of the quality of our leadership present in our officers and men.
These units are models of leadership development—senior officers lead from the front, seek out and reward excellence, and isolate and eliminate bad performance. The Zayd letter exclaims what captured enemies have been telling us for the past six months: the insurgency uses a very different, and clearly inferior, system for leading their fighters. They recruit foreign fighters—forcing them at times—to do the worst of their fighting. They intoxicate youth with drugs, and force them to drive their car bombs. As one officer succinctly put it: “If they believed their own bullshit, they would strap the bomb to themselves.”
It bears repeating that the Coalition IS winning in Mosul. Here’s why: while the enemy commander Abu Zayd was hiding in and around Mosul, and complaining about his fellow terrorists squandering money on phones and cars, American and Iraqi commanders were physically fighting alongside their men, instilling confidence in the mission, sharing the risks.
In some wars, it’s about the resources. In other wars, it’s about the equipment or manpower. In some, the weather turns out to be the Great Decider. This one is about the expectations, philosophies and individuals who wear the mantle of leadership. As for these individuals, from the young sergeants to the senior officers, the Coalition simply has superior leaders, and they are mentoring the best Iraqi leaders, and the results are transparent.