I finally did get to read the “Mad Ghosts in the Triangle of Death” article about my old unit the other day. Most of it had to do with a platoon in my company that was detached from us to become a CAP (I forgot what the acronym actually is) platoon. Basically they went all over the place either training the Iraqi Army, working with engineers and some civil affairs stuff. It did put them into some interesting situations and thus they have a lot of cool photographs which made it in….the main paragraph of the story is the platoon posed in front of a controlled demolition, which looks really cool.
The story is basically that we showed up in 2004 to this area south of Baghdad that didn’t get a lot of attention in the earlier days and it became a hotbed for the insurgents. We started being very aggressive with patrolling and making a presence through the area as well as some big operations and shows of force and activity went way down. When we left the other units that replaced us didn’t run as tight of a ship as we did and lost a lot of soldiers. A few were captured and killed out of this area and it was the site of the massacre chronicled in the book Black Hearts: One Platoon’s Descent into Madness in Iraq’s Triangle of Death , which was really gut-wrenching for me to read. Sometime in the future maybe I’ll share some of my “Triangle of Death” stories and thoughts but today isn’t that day. Oh, the author did make the ISIS/Triangle of Death connection as I expected.
Reading SOF was fun, its probably been twenty years since I’ve picked up an issue. I remember ads for all kinds of cool stuff, but I didn’t see much that jumped out at me (although a ‘be a man among men’ Rhodesian army shirt would be cool). Like a lot of magazines it did see stripped down (although it is going all digital). I remembered the infographic with the map of the world and little snippets of news about conflict around the world, which was cool.
I don’t know if I’d pick up another issue of SOF. It was cool to read about something I was a part of and I’m sure they get some good articles here and there, but it didn’t seem quite like how I remembered the magazine. I saw a lot of gun ads (I have no problem with guns, they just bore me – I know, that’s my problem), a few editorials that boil down to “political correctness is bad” (yeah, yeah, I agree) but there was a little bit from these exotic conflicts around the world that makes the magazine what it is. I don’t know. I might at least like their facebook page to see if something comes across that interests me.