Battleground Iraq: Journal of a Company Commander
Todd S. Brown. Washington, DC: U.S. Army Center of Military History, 2007. 292 pp. Illus. Appen. Gloss. Index. $29.
Soon after the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003, the author, an Army infantry company commander in the heavily populated and dangerous Sunni Triangle of Iraq, began recording his thoughts and leadership philosophy in a log.
This diary imparts an honest picture of day-to-day combat rigors by someone who has been in the fight. Brown tells of "the boredom, camaraderie, and moments of terror" that he and his troops underwent throughout his tour of duty in an exceptionally dangerous area of operations.
The book carefully relates tactics, techniques, and procedures that evolved in the extremely arduous efforts to maintain good order among the civil population while countering terrorist activities. In short, it plainly describes the same kind of thorny problems that U.S. forces faced in Vietnam: how to balance combat with the equally important task of nation building.