Monday, July 7, 2008

Fighting only half the battle

Guns and bombs make up only part of the war on terror.

While combat units fight to establish security and root out insurgents, civil affairs units work to rebuild infrastructure and aid residents in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In Afghanistan, the Army's 451st Civil Affairs Battalion works with the Afghan government and international humanitarian organizations in the five southern Konar districts to rebuild infrastructure and restore stability in the area.

Capt. Roman Skaskiw said Joint civil-military efforts make up key components in winning the hearts and minds of Afghans, buttressing the authority of the government in Kabul, and providing a central effort in the U.S.-led counterinsurgency campaign.

"The overall security situation is becoming more stable,” Skaskiw said. “The reason for the fighting is local animosities influenced by people who feel they are not getting their share of the redevelopment. However, development dampens the insurgency, as evidenced in the improving police, the roads connecting the people to the government, and the burgeoning health care system."

All over Afghanistan and Iraq, U.S. military personnel labor to make life better for the citizens. While many on the left portray U.S. forces as unwelcome invaders, in reality, the presence of American troops serves to improve the everyday lives of countless Iraqi and Afghan people.

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