Friday 28 March 2003

Conflict sapping forces' morale

Here on the frontline this conflict is taking its toll on morale.

I can see the signs in the US marines I am with outside Nasiriyah.

Quite a few of the troops have said to me that this isn't what they were expecting.

They have had a tiring week of guerrilla-style fighting and it continues.

They are frustrated that their political masters gave the American public the impression that it would be easier than it's turned out to be.

But, also that they should have given them more expectation about Iraqi resistance like this.

They don't want to admit they can't deal with it, but I think there is definitely a sense that it is not the kind of fighting that they were really trained for.

One Marine told me: "I've had enough of being fired at from all directions, I just want to go home".

I thought it quite a surprising thing to say.

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