March 13, 2008

Book Review - Patrolling Baghdad

Patrolling Baghdad: A Military Police Company and the War in Iraq
Mark R. DePue
DS 79.764 .U6 D34 2007

DePue describes the early days of the War in Iraq from the perspective of the 233rd Military Police Company, whose responsibility it was to help restore police control of Baghdad. The 233rd was a key part of the American force to occupy Iraq in 2003 and was the first unit specifically tasked with patrolling Baghdad. While they worked to restore order and rebuild the Iraqi police force, they also experienced firsthand the conflict's broader issues. The difficulty of their task exposed shortcomings in the prewar planning related to internal security in Iraq. They witnessed the culture clash between the occupying forces and the Iraqis. They saw inhumanity in the lootings, shootings, and bombings as groups of Iraqis turned on one another, yet participated in demonstrations of great compassion working to reopen Iraqi schools and help orphaned children in the neighborhoods that they patrolled. This study based on interviews with military police soldiers of the 233rd and others individuals associated with their unit brings individual people and voices to the forefront while at the same time providing a window into the experience of all of the military and security operations going on in Iraq.