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Interesting discussion on US military tactics in Iraq

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  • Interesting discussion on US military tactics in Iraq

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story...684561,00.html

    sounds like a good discussion, albeit probably not with this Brig. Gen. involved: at the end of the article it says he's been xferred to Bosnia.

  • #2
    Re: Interesting discussion on US military tactics in Iraq

    I don't quite get the general's critique. I still don't think we should be over there fighting, but does the british general think we should be throwing lollipops and offering paper hearts to the insurgents instead of using bullets to get them to stop?
    [squadl]
    "I am the prettiest african-american, vietnamese..cong..person." -SugarNCamo

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    • #3
      Re: Interesting discussion on US military tactics in Iraq

      I suspect he thinks that his insulting characterization of the US military will earn him votes when he runs for office in the not-too-distant future, but regardless he is a subject-matter expert whose opinions should be heard and considered.

      The US reaction to the 4 contractors' deaths in Falluja was, in my opinion, excessively deliberate and contstrained. It is true that one of the goals of such outrageous acts is to provoke an overreaction. FM 100-20 Military Operations In Low-Intensity Conflict says in Chapter 3:

      The specific objective of terrorist acts in this category is to provoke overreaction on the part of government forces. The strategy normally calls for attacking targets symbolic of the government (for example, the police, the military, and other officials). Attacks of this type demonstrate vulnerability to terrorist acts and contribute to a loss of confidence in the government's ability to provide security. But more importantly, if the security forces resort to a heavy-handed response, the resulting oppression can create public sympathy, passive acceptance, or active support for an insurgent or terrorist group.
      Question is, what do you do when someone attempts to provoke an overreation? Obviously you can't level a city and salt the earth anymore, but you can't invite people like that over for tea and strumpets either.

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      • #4
        Re: Interesting discussion on US military tactics in Iraq

        One thing the US military has always been known for, in my opinion, is using a sledgehammer to kill a fly. Got a battalion being attacked by half a platoon of men under cover? Call in an airstrike big enough to level a large village. Hell, even our at home police forces use a version of this tactic, where you typically see anywhere from 3-5 officers present to arrest one person (or when you see the entire SWAT team show up at the house of one guy barricaded inside with a gun/hostage).

        Right or wrong, it's pretty much our philosophy, and I don't think it's bound to change anytime soon, if ever. We've largely abandoned the finese approach in favor of the overwhelming force tactic. Personally, I don't think there's any one good way to fight a guerilla war, since you can't really force the enemy to fight on your terms.
        [squadl]
        "I am the prettiest african-american, vietnamese..cong..person." -SugarNCamo

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        • #5
          Re: Interesting discussion on US military tactics in Iraq

          I think you're incorrect. The way you attack an insurgency is to recognize their strengths and and expoit their weaknesses. Insurgents are highly mobile because they blend in. However they have logistical issues too, so you attack that.

          With regard to using a sledgehammer to kill a fly, you're good and damn well right about that. If you happen to be armchairing the battle, I suppose that may see extreme, but if I were a young private taking heavy fire from a fortified position I'd love to hear the whine of a fast-mover about to Bring It. I also don't see a problem with making sure the world knows that if you mess with an American patrol you might get butt-stomped so hard and so fast it'll make your jaw drop.

          Plus, it saves lives. To use the example you chose, a full SWAT team in a perp's face may cause him to surrender without a fight, where a less lethal force might result in a gun fight and death.

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          • #6
            Re: Interesting discussion on US military tactics in Iraq

            British officer criticizes Americans. In other news, dark tonight, brighter tomorrow morning. Yawn. ;)
            |TG-1stMIP|Mannerism​​​​​​​

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            • #7
              Re: Interesting discussion on US military tactics in Iraq

              Originally posted by SmokingTarpan
              Hell, even our at home police forces use a version of this tactic, where you typically see anywhere from 3-5 officers present to arrest one person (or when you see the entire SWAT team show up at the house of one guy barricaded inside with a gun/hostage).
              That's completely different. The more police present, the less likely anyone will get hurt. Everyday, people that resist arrest get dogpiled by a number of cops and the cuffs go on 'em with some scrapes and bruises. Everyday, people that resist arrest with a single officer either get into a dangerous fight that can result in serious injuries, or get away.

              With the SWAT team, Leejo already pointed out the additional consideration that has to be made.

              More appropriate would be a comparision to a DUI sweep or a speeding crackdown on a certain section of highway...
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              • #8
                Re: Interesting discussion on US military tactics in Iraq

                Originally posted by CingularDuality
                That's completely different. The more police present, the less likely anyone will get hurt. Everyday, people that resist arrest get dogpiled by a number of cops and the cuffs go on 'em with some scrapes and bruises. Everyday, people that resist arrest with a single officer either get into a dangerous fight that can result in serious injuries, or get away.
                I think it's a valid comparisson without saying that they're entirely the same (obviously you're not trying to prevent injury to an enemy combatant in war). I remember a day when a cop would pull someone over, issue them a ticket, and be on their way. Now, whenever I see someone pulled over on the road, I see no less than 2 police cars there, sometimes more. Hell, when some idiot drove their car into the front of my apartment complex (no drinking, he was just dumb), four officers showed up to take stock of the damage.

                Not saying it's bad, just saying it's the American way to sledgehammer it in situations that involve conflict. I'm more amazed that the rest of the world hasn't caught on yet, and thinks that we'll outright change because of their views.

                Site note about the police: I wonder if we've hampered their ultimate effectiveness a little in the way that some situations are handled. While back-up is a great, and makes things safer for all, they seem weak in a 1v1 situation. I truly don't mean this as an insult or such, I just don't like the idea that it takes a dog-pile to cuff one drunk guy. I've seen too many videos of police getting the crap kicked out of them 1v1, and it makes me worry. I wonder if it also gives crooks a sense of security; "It's only one cop."
                [squadl]
                "I am the prettiest african-american, vietnamese..cong..person." -SugarNCamo

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                • #9
                  Re: Interesting discussion on US military tactics in Iraq

                  Originally posted by SmokingTarpan
                  I think it's a valid comparisson without saying that they're entirely the same (obviously you're not trying to prevent injury to an enemy combatant in war). I remember a day when a cop would pull someone over, issue them a ticket, and be on their way. Now, whenever I see someone pulled over on the road, I see no less than 2 police cars there, sometimes more. Hell, when some idiot drove their car into the front of my apartment complex (no drinking, he was just dumb), four officers showed up to take stock of the damage.
                  What city do you live in? In Dallas, there aren't enough cops to do something like that, while in my small town, the entire PD (3 cars) responds to any action at all (out of boredom).

                  Site note about the police: I wonder if we've hampered their ultimate effectiveness a little in the way that some situations are handled. While back-up is a great, and makes things safer for all, they seem weak in a 1v1 situation. I truly don't mean this as an insult or such, I just don't like the idea that it takes a dog-pile to cuff one drunk guy. I've seen too many videos of police getting the crap kicked out of them 1v1, and it makes me worry. I wonder if it also gives crooks a sense of security; "It's only one cop."
                  I think that you can blame attorneys for this. It used to be if you ran or fought with police, that you'd get an appropriate beat-down for it. I'm not talking about going Rodney King on the bad guy, but it wasn't pleasant... Now, cops aren't able to do stuff like that. Respect for the police has diminished, while at the same time, tools (whether for good or for bad) have been taken out of the cops' hands. I know a guy that's being investigated by internal affairs right now for using excessive force: Big, muscular guy resists. He's probably around 6' 1" and a solid 250 lbs of muscle. Male and female officers (both around 5' 8" and neither weighs more than 180) are trying to cuff him. The bad guy throws the female officer up against a wall and she lands on her butt. The bad guy then trys to swing on the male officer, but before he can do it, the officer punches the guy in the nose. Big guy goes down and the officer follows, punches him a couple more times in the face and then wrestles him over to handcuff him. He's being investigated for "striking" the suspect instead of using compliance techniques.
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                  • #10
                    Re: Interesting discussion on US military tactics in Iraq

                    Should have offered the perp tea and strumpets and saved everyone a lot of trouble.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Interesting discussion on US military tactics in Iraq

                      Strumpets? He might enjoy that. Then again, Internal Affairs would have a keen interest in that too. How very naughty!
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                      • #12
                        Re: Interesting discussion on US military tactics in Iraq

                        It certainly would have been more in line with the suggested British tactics.

                        Dumb and Dumber was on this weekend, hence the tea and strumpets line.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Interesting discussion on US military tactics in Iraq

                          Originally posted by CingularDuality
                          He's being investigated for "striking" the suspect instead of using compliance techniques.
                          Pardon my ignorance but isn't striking a good example of a compliance technique? Are they saying he should have grappled instead?

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                          • #14
                            Re: Interesting discussion on US military tactics in Iraq

                            I really don't care to comment on this officer's drivel before the counter-insurgency discussion. With that said, moving right along...

                            1) Overwhelming force has proved time and time again to be an effective way of eliminating or suppressing the opposition in certain situations. Like most tactics, it has its limits and should be used with discretion.

                            2) Although I think this officer comes off as a bit pompous, I must say that I also feel that the U.S., along with many other nations, does not know how to fight a guerilla war effectively. I think the term "heart and minds" is counter-productive in most any argument, having been tainted and twisted during the Vietnam War, so I will not use it.

                            I agree that before a guerilla war has any chance of being one, you must first win the political war. Much of that has to do with getting the majority of the civilian population to support you, while isolating the insurgents. It involves establishing good government, including political participation. It also includes establishing an alternative for the insurgents, specifically, amnesty should they lay down their arms. Once those things have been established, the insurgency can be crushed militarily.
                            |TG|Delta_Swift

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                            • #15
                              Re: Interesting discussion on US military tactics in Iraq

                              Originally posted by CingularDuality
                              What city do you live in? In Dallas, there aren't enough cops to do something like that, while in my small town, the entire PD (3 cars) responds to any action at all (out of boredom).
                              Currently I live in Urbana, Illinois. However, it was the same way in my hometown of Plainfield, IL, and neighboring towns of Joliet and Naperville. Maybe it's an Illinois thing?
                              [squadl]
                              "I am the prettiest african-american, vietnamese..cong..person." -SugarNCamo

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