48th Soldiers react to the President's Iraq plan - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

48th Soldiers react to the President's Iraq plan

January 11, 2007

Albany-  South Georgia National Guard soldiers were critical of President Bush's plans for a troop surge in Iraq. In April, soldiers returned from their second tour in Iraq. Many saw first-hand the problems that occurred with training Iraqi troops. The President's promise of a surge in troops has them wondering not if, but when, they'll return to the Middle East.

Sgt. Linfred Davis served two tours of duty in Iraq with the 48th Brigade. Davis witnessed a lot of what went wrong and listened closely to the President's words.

"Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me. It is clear that we need to change our strategy in Iraq," said President Bush.

"Most great men, they admit when they, you know, make a mistake, and then they try and rectify it, but that's all you can really do," said Sgt. Linfred Davis, 121st Division, 2nd Battalion.

During Davis' tour the need for more troops was evident.

"In some areas, small amounts of troops were sufficient enough to do the jobs, and in some other areas it wasn't, because you know with the number of insurgents versus the number of troops, no in some areas there wasn't enough troops over there," said Davis.

Davis feels the President's surge of 20,000 troops will help, as long as Iraqi soldiers can break through barriers.

"The only real difficult thing I saw at the beginning, beside them trying to learn something, new was the language barrier, and they had interrupters trying to interpret what the soldiers were saying," said Davis.

Davis said despite Iraqi forces maintaining the peace, it's just a matter of time before the 48th Brigade is re-deployed to somewhere in the Middle East.

Davis remains skeptical about the November deadline the President set for Iraqi troops to take control around Baghdad, and feels the U.S. will always maintain a military presence in the Middle East.

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