Though American taxpayers will pay the bill, it is the Iraqis who will suffer. The deteriorating security situation will disproportionately hurt contractors, relief agencies and non-governmental organizations much more than it hurts the military. The US Marines and US Army can adjust to a more threatening environment much more easily than these civilian agencies can. And it is these civilian agencies that do the majority of good for the Iraqis. The tough task now is to convince the Iraqi population of this fact, so that they take the lead in stopping their own insurgent brethren.
I have a proprietary interest in the Marines in Falluja. They are the young men and women I packed supplies with for Spirit of America, and they are the ones pushing us to get them tools – literally right now, tools – to help improve the lives of the Iraqis they deal with every day.