While militia forces would wage a brushfire rebellion across the South, at Kings Mountain and Cowpens they dealt heavy and irreparable blows directly to British regular forces. Where regular Continental forces had taken four years to lose the southern colonies, militia forces, with very little outside help, were able to drive the British out in less than two following those two battles.
A similar pattern is continuing to develop in Iraq, where the Iraqi people, fed up with continued terrorism, are taking sides and taking up arms alongside American troops, with notable results:
The commander of the battle zone — Lt. Col. Val Keaveny, 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry (Airborne) — said his unit has lost only one soldier in the past four months despite intensified operations against both Shiite and Sunni extremists, including powerful al-Qaida in Iraq cells.
Keaveny attributes the startling decline to a decrease in attacks by militants who are being rounded up in big numbers on information provided by the citizen force — which has literally doubled the number of eyes and ears available to the military.
The efforts to recruit local partners began taking shape earlier this year in the western province of Anbar, which had become the virtual heartland for Sunni insurgents and al-Qaida bands. The early successes in Anbar — coming alongside a boost of 30,000 U.S. forces into the Baghdad area — led to similar alliances in other parts of Iraq.
"People are fed up with fear, intimidation and being brutalized. Once they hit that tipping point, they're fed up, they come to realized we truly do provide them better hope for the future. What we're seeing now is the beginning of a snowball," said Keaveny, whose forces operate out of Forward Operating Base Kalsu, about 35 miles south of Baghdad.
Let us hope this is yet another sign that the conflict is finally turning the corner so our troops will be able to start coming home, with their heads held high and able to say "mission accomplished".