If one had to identify a front in the ongoing war in Iraq, it would likely be located wherever a significant group of police and national guard recruits gathered. In the last two weeks, nearly 40% of Iraqis killed were new law enforcement officials or recruits.
Here is a great piece on four friends who have signed up to join the new Iraqi police force. They have already been attacked and been the victims of bombings. One of the men profiled explains: “We’re walking dead men.”
The future of Iraq may well be won or lost at these police recruiting places. The insurgents have targeted new recruits. Yet, the new recruits keep pouring in.
Why? For some it is likely a desire to join the fight for the future of a free Iraq. But for most, the call to duty is felt on a much more basic level. It’s all about getting a job. Or as one of the recruits in this story explains (after deciding to return to his training even after his arm and lip were shredded and his tooth was blown out during a bombing):
Service in Iraq is also presenting some difficulties when it comes to the recruitment and retention of U.S. soldiers.