Capt. Sean Miller keeps up an easy calm as he helps manage rebuilding efforts in Anbar province these days. But when an Iraqi contractor claimed he was promised money to bury Saddam's solders, the 32-year-old Marine captain lost it. "Those guys were trying to kill me,” Miller said. “You want me to pay to have them buried?” Such is life for many US soldiers in Iraq, where rebuilding is key—and often involves working with old enemies.
Marines like Miller are still watching their backs while aiding reconstruction of a country in a simmering war, the New York Times reports. Shootouts may be less common, but Miller is overwhelmed by demands—and disappointments—as he doles out up to $1 million a month in areas where one in four Marines were once wounded or killed. “Reconciliation,” he said. “It’s a hard pill to swallow.”