Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Anbar Awakens Part II: Hell is Over

I saw no violence in Baghdad, but I would never have taken off my body armor and helmet outside the wire. I certainly wouldn’t have done it casually without noticing it. If I had I would have been sternly upbraided for reckless behavior by every Soldier anywhere near me.

But in Ramadi the Marines are seriously considering dropping the helmet and body armor requirements because the low level of danger makes the gear no longer worth it. Protective gear doesn’t look intimidating, exactly, but it is hard to socialize properly with Iraqis while wearing it. It creates a feeling of distrust and distance.

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