Goodnight, Anbar Province, and Good Luck
U.S. hands over former Iraqi insurgent flashpoint
By Tim Cocks Reuters Monday, September 1, 2008; 6:09 AM
RAMADI, Iraq (Reuters) - The U.S. military handed over Iraq's western Anbar province to Iraqi security forces on Monday, less than two years after the region was all but lost to a Sunni Arab insurgency.
"We are in the last ten yards of this terrible fight. The goal is very near," Major-General John Kelly, commander of U.S. forces in Anbar, told U.S., Iraqi and tribal officials gathered near Anbar's government headquarters.
Left out of the news report is that General Kelly is a marine and we desperately need marines over a few countries to the north and east, out Afghanistan way. And so it is we are leaving the most volatile of the Iraqi provinces, ten yards short of a touchdown.
Third and goal, we have come away from the huddle with a strategic surprise-punt and tried to put a good face on it.