Your warriors are out and taking the fight to the enemy…..every day. All branches are forward in Afghanistan and let’s not forget the Army still taking the fight to the enemy in Iraq…and yes, they are still fighting in Iraq.
Living in austere conditions and eating what they are given. Things aren’t always fine & rosy as Marines, we don’t promise you a rose garden as the recruiting poster states and when your country calls on you to go to war and take the fight to the enemy, its most likely in the worst conditions….we are Marines for the love of God.
The Marine Corps is winning the difficult and never clear cut Counter Insurgency (COIN) war. To win such a fight takes time and another important ingredient, cooperation. You don’t get cooperation from the locals by living on a big base and occasionally working with them. You gain cooperation from the locals by living & training alongside the locals and them next to you on a day to day (24/7) basis. It doesn’t happen overnight and it’s not something that can be achieved at 40,000 feet in a jet.
There are many times Marines are injected dead center of a known bad guy territory, with nothing except the gear they were trained with to establish stability on their back. Hell, that’s our bread and butter. We go in an area and strengthen the area on many fronts to include agriculturally, economically and overall stability. We don’t do it alone though, we do it with our fellow Afghanistan military members alongside us. The Afghan National Army (ANA) are fighters, seasoned experienced fighters that believe in making a difference and show it by their dedication. We as Americans have the best body armor, armored vehicles with explosion diffusing composition but in the COIN fight the very best barometer that shows your progress is a local villager stopping you and telling you that there are IEDs located in your path. When locals tell you and tell you while putting their fear aside from retaliation, then you are making a difference and winning the COIN fight and that’s exactly what your Marines are doing.
We as supporters have to back all of our servicemembers and remember that what they do isn’t done overnight and frankly unless you personally know someone deployed and getting their point of view, you probably don’t really know how hard they are working, how much great gain they are making or how much they are sacrificing. For just a minute in your day, try to imagine it. It can be difficult to comprehend. However, know your Marines are taking the fight to the enemy and every day along with cooperation from the locals, they are winning.