Los Angeles Times
July 10, 2006

Boot Off-Base About Troops' Living Conditions

Max Boot paints a distorted image of life for U.S. soldiers in Iraq. Far from dormitory-style housing, a containerized housing unit is 160 square feet, with two or more soldiers sharing a unit. While we do have good gym facilities, exercise is needed to maintain sanity and fitness when we're confined to a one-square mile or smaller base. The food is pretty good, but the menus rarely change and repeat every few days. The fast-food restaurants are located in trailers and are on only the largest bases.

While Boot was at the Green Beans coffee shop in Baqubah, he probably noticed the constant stream of vehicles departing on combat patrols or returning from missions.

It is ridiculous to point out the few comfort items we have as symptoms of misguided war policy.

And the U.S. goal is not to defeat the insurgency; it is to assist the Iraqi Security Forces with defeating the insurgency, and we continue to transfer responsibility to the security forces.

MAJ. PATRICK CREED, Forward Operating Base Warhorse, Baqubah, Iraq

Editor's Note: The op-ed by Boot appeared in the Current News Early Bird, July 5, 2006.