1-5 Cavalry in Ameriyah
by Lieutenant Colonel Dale Kuehl, Small Wars Journal
I had the privilege of commanding the 1st Battalion, 5th US Cavalry in Ameriyah from November 2006 until January of 2008. I have watched a debate on our actions unfold since last summer as we started having success in Ameriyah, but have refrained from jumping into the middle of it up to now. I acknowledge that I am not an unbiased observer, which is why I have avoided this debate. However, since the operations of 1-5 CAV under my command have become a part of the discussion I believe it is time that I jump in and try to clarify some of the facts about our operations and also offer some thoughts.
I start by emphasizing that I appreciate the efforts of 8-10 CAV and the other units in Baghdad that preceded us. My comments are in no way intended to question their dedication or valor, nor suggest that they did not conduct COIN operations. I fully appreciate the sacrifices made by Col. Gian Gentile and his battalion. However, I disagree with Gian's position on the importance of the surge and the change in operational focus that accompanied it.