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Phil Northcutt saw the map of Iraq on the wall and started recalling his time there. He’d been stationed in Ramadi, Al Anbar Province, in 2004.
Phil Northcutt: There was this main street, ‘Route Michigan,’ like a 4-lane highway going through town with a 12-inch tall median painted yellow and black. When we first got there you could see big holes in the median. By the time we left, there was no median. It had been blown up along six or seven miles of roadway...
There were two different kinds of fighters we engaged. When we first got there it was like local fighters. You could tell. They were wearing the man dresses and flip-flops and they had old rusty AKs. They were like beat-up, ragged-out goat herders but with weapons. They didn’t use squad maneuvers, they didn’t use military tactics, it was a shoot and run kind of thing. And pretty much we killed all those guys or they went away.
And then the second wave came in. These dudes were wearing brand new Adidas, American jeans, they were wearing tactical rigs like American contractors, baseball hats, sunglasses –they looked like American contractors.