Associated Press photo

There’s math and then there’s military math. Take counting enemy troops, for example. Say you add up the number of nostrils between them and then divide that number by two. Is that a reliable method? Certainly not, because commanders have a toolbox of tricks to conceal the true size of their forces.

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Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.

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And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.

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Photo illustration by Brad Howard: Associated Press/ Hadi Mizban.

Your friend and intrepid Pentagon correspondent recently heard this while talking to a colleague: “You DO look like Muqtada al-Sadr!”

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The recent Iraqi elections are likely to bring anti-American cleric with the blood of U.S. troops on his hands to power, and U.S. and Iraqi officials are trying as hard as they can not to say anything about it.

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My bottom line: The world will not end, but this election result certainly puts a lot of hard work, blood, and sacrifice — ours, our allies, and the Iraqis — at risk.

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When I saw that the movement led by radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr was the big winner in Iraq’s recent elections, my heart kind of sank. I don’t really care one way or the other about him, but I thought of all the American troops who fought and saw comrades die trying to corral him back in the spring of 2004, and I wondered what they thought.

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