The Wrong Surge
Kaplan, Lawrence F.
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Ramadi, Iraq: It's the second week of December, yet apart from a palm tree strung with Christmas lights outside the headquarters of the First Armored Division's First Brigade Combat Team (1-1 AD), Ramadi shows no trace of the season. But, at the nearby house of Sheik Abdul Sattar, nothing can interrupt the festive spirit --or the sheik. Waving a lit cigarette, the former Al Qaeda ally has been advertising his fealty to the American cause for nearly an hour now. He insists his militia must be set loose among the Marine river partols that ply the Euphrates each night. "We burn the terrorists now!" Army Colonel Sean MacFarland, a lanky man from upstate New York with an uncommonly self-effacing demeanor for a brigade commander, gently declines the offer. "Then give me one helicopter." the sheik suggests, "We will fight in Baghdad!" Encouraged by MacFarland's chuckles, Sattar claps excitedly. "After that, we fight in Afghanistan, we fight in Darfur!"
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