12-15-2006, 05:00 PM
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A soldiers take on how to win the War in Iraq.
He used stick figures to show how we could win?
Dec. 15, 2006 — President Bush has spent the last few weeks engaged in complex briefings with senior military officers, State Department officials and outside experts as he tries to come up with a new plan to achieve victory in Iraq.
Watch "World News with Charles Gibson" tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET for more on this story.
But a young captain serving in Iraq's violent Al Anbar Province has offered a simple explanation of what the problem was in Iraq and how to solve it. Among his observations is the importance of having a moustache in Iraq.
In a military known for its sleep-inducing, graphically dizzying PowerPoint presentations, the young captain's presentation, which has been unofficially circulating through the ranks, stands out. Using stick figures and simple language, it articulates the same goal as the president's in Iraq.
The creator of this PowerPoint presentation, "How to Win in Al Anbar," was Capt. Travis Patriquin.
But Patriquin will not see victory in Iraq. He was killed by the same improvised explosive device that killed Maj. Megan McClung of the Marine Corps last Wednesday.
Patriquin had fought in Afghanistan and Iraq. A gifted officer, he spoke numerous languages, including Arabic.
"How to Win in Al Anbar" may not make it to the desk of the president, but maybe it should.
A Confluence of Events
Correspondent David Kerley blogs with an update on Travis Patriquin and Megan McClung:
I've been working on a story on the Army’s & Marines’ new counter-insurgency manual, which was officially released today. At the same time a PowerPoint (Download PDF) using stick figures to describe classic counter-insurgent techniques -- working with the locals, making deals -- began circulating. Before we knew the PointPoint's author, one of the creators of the counter-insurgency manual called it "brilliant" and said the author "should get a medal."
Well, turns out that the author was Captain Travis Patriquin, and if he gets a medal, he will have to get it posthumously. The news this week has been stunningly bad, and it has come full circle. The PowerPoint will be featured on Friday's World News. Please read about Travis and his friend Megan McClung below.
A Second Bad Day: Travis Patriquin
Posted December 13, 2006
Highest-Ranking Female Officer Killed in Iraq: Megan McClung
Posted December 12, 2006
December 15, 2006 | Permalink | User Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
December 13, 2006
A Second Bad Day.
Correspondent David Kerley blogs:
In this space and on World News last night we told the story of U.S. Marine Major Megan McClung. She is the highest-ranking female officer killed in Iraq. That is news. That gets attention. She died in an IED attack in Ramadi last Wednesday after escorting some journalists. I mentioned in my note that an Army Captain and a soldier were killed as well. What I didn’t realize, until today, is that the Captain was Travis Patriquin. I spent a lot of time with him two months ago in Ramadi. Patriquin led our convoy to the Government Center. During that trip we came under fire. He was calm when we arrived and had a chance to talk about what happened. He was not your typical soldier. For the second day in a row the ultimate sacrifice has hit me in the gut.
This isn’t a great picture of him, but Patriquin didn’t look like your average Army Captain. He had a full mustache and was a “beefy” guy. But start talking to him and you knew this guy was something special. His boss called him brilliant. Travis could tell you about the tribal factions, not just in Iraq, but in Afghanistan as well. I’m not talking basic Shiite-Sunni differences, he knew about the tribes. He’d been in many a sheik’s home, shared meals and conversation. He could talk about history, politics, and archaeology. And he could about those subjects in several languages. He was a student of the world, of its cultures, who happened to wear a green uniform with U.S. Army Captain bars.
Patriquin was in a humvee with one of his buddies in Iraq; Major McClung. Driving was Specialist Vincent Pomante III. They all perished.
I’m not sure how much Travis liked riding in the humvees. I do know he loved driving around the Ramadi airbase in an old polish “jeep-type” vehicle. He drove us to dinner and to our quarters in that jalopy. The old vehicle had character, just like Travis Patriquin.