Inside Iraq

The troops in Baghdad are making progress--and are likely to emerge as leaders of a post-9/11 America

Illustration by John Ritter for TIME

I spent a week in Iraq recently, and here's what impressed me most: the Americans. In particular, the quality and character of the American soldiers and Marines who are fighting there and trying to help rebuild the nation. I don't mean to slight, in some ethnocentric way, the steadfastness and courage of the Iraqi people. But it was meeting and watching the American soldiers at work that I found most interesting.

I've served in government, and I'm familiar with Washington, and I'm not an uncritical cheerleader for the American military. Indeed, I'd say that some of our general officers--until this past...

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