Originally appeared at ForeignPolicy.com.
What will happen to Iraqi reconstruction when all the marines are gone?
Last week I listened to Maj. Ashley Burch, a Marine civil affairs officer in Ramadi, explain a raft of ambitious reconstruction aimed to smother the town of Karmah — a persistent center of insurgent activity — in American largess. I was duly impressed. Then, as I walked out of the office, I glanced at a wall map of eastern Anbar province. A bright stripe of yellow Post-its ran across the 104 km highway that connects Ramadi to Baghdad, each with the words “No-Go Zone” written across the top and a date, with the more recent dates closer to Baghdad.