Stanza 169


Political realities combined
To keep the military men confined
To base. The recent senatorial
Decision to confirm the general
Petraeus to the MNF command
Was only three days old. Whatever planned
Responses to the ambush had to wait
Because new orders might invalidate
Contingent plans no longer authorized.
The transfer of command was realized
In twelve days, but before the deputy
Commander of the twenty-fifth ID
Arrived with orders, two more weeks had passed.
The earlier delays would now contrast
With speedy action and decisiveness.
The tenth battalion would have to address
A thousand issues if they would succeed.
The one-star briefed the colonel on the need
Not just for acting in sufficient time,
But to embrace the proper paradigm.