We Were One
We Were One is a book by Patrick K. O’Donnell about the war in Iraq. Specifically it follows 1st Platoon in the Battle of Fallujah. The book talks a lot about the friendships between soldiers, and practically every man in the platoon had a best friend that they did everything with. This just made it sadder when soldiers were unfortunately killed in action. The book starts out with the platoon simply training back in the United States. They learn the basic fighting styles that they will have to combat. The main problem that they will be facing in Fallujah is guerilla warfare. This includes everything from IEDs to mujahideen soldiers popping out and firing upon the Americans as they are on patrol.
The biggest problem and leading cause of death in the War in Iraq was IEDs. They were usually any explosives that the mujahideen could get their hands on with a detonator and planted on the side of the road. However they also got creative and used bicycles, cars, or people in order to deliver the IEDs to their targets more efficiently. In order to counteract these IEDs, the American soldiers would either have to get lucky or be able to spot signs like freshly dug dirt or a trash pile in a weird place. If they find an IED on patrol, the unit calls in a bomb squad to diffuse it. The majority of these missions were successful and the casualties from IEDs were nowhere near as bad as what the media would have people believe.
Later in the book the Marines complain about being handcuffed by the media. The mujahideen soldiers would constantly set up defensive positions in mosques, hospitals, or schools knowing that the Americans could not destroy the building. This would force the soldiers to go into a heavily defended area trying to breach and clear, which was a very unreliable way to do things as there are many variables involved with a breach and clear. The politicians were misguided also, as the city had been evacuated 15 days before the...