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  • US tactics 'heavy handed' Straw memo

    That's one of the major headlines at the moment and here's the article http://news.scotsman.com/politics.cfm?id=587672004 but I actually found a freelance article that was alot more interesting
    and discusses the ground level stuff. The whole thing is well worth reading, but it does just highlight negatives.

    http://news.independent.co.uk/world/...p?story=523993

    'Spray and slay': are American troops out of control in Iraq?

    By Raymond Whitaker in London and Justin Huggler in Baghdad
    23 May 2004

    Extract:

    "The British military tends to have far more open dealings with the local population than the Americans," said Christopher Bellamy, professor of military science at Cranfield University. "While the British rely more on local intelligence to warn them of trouble in advance, US forces have a 'stand-off' posture, which means trouble tends to erupt without warning. As a result they need to deliver enormous amounts of firepower to overcome it."

    Eleanor Goldsworthy, UK forces specialist at the Royal United Services Institute, said the approach taken by British forces in Iraq was: "If we behave, we earn their goodwill." The American attitude, by contrast, was: "If they behave, they earn our goodwill." And if they don't, others might add, US forces will punish them - the policy that appeared to be adopted when the Marines moved on Fallujah last month in the wake of the deaths of four American private security men.

    The insistence of the US Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, on a "war lite" policy, said Professor Bellamy, meant that "American forces have to make up in firepower what they lack in manpower". Because US soldiers specialised early in their careers, and received less overall training than their British counterparts, the majority were not effective combat troops, and had to be protected by those with the appropriate training.

    "The philosophy is almost that of the wagon train, and tends to lead to the 'spray and slay' behaviour we have seen," said the analyst.

    "It is hard to over-estimate the lack of awareness of most American soldiers in Iraq," said a military source. "Many, perhaps most, have never been abroad before. They see their mission as giving democracy to the Iraqis and enforcing stability, and find it very difficult to understand why the Iraqis aren't grateful. They have no idea that they are seen as arrogant and aggressive."

    In the view of British forces, the source added, such attitudes had led to a succession of "fundamental mistakes", and had made senior officers extremely hostile to being put under American command. This is one of the options reported to be under consideration by Downing Street this weekend as the deployment of more British forces is weighed.

    The US wants Britain to take over from the departed Spanish contingent in the Shia holy cities of Najaf and Karbala, where American firepower is being deployed against militias loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr, the Shia cleric declared an outlaw by Washington.

    "Seeking to adopt normal low-profile British tactics in the wake of American aggressiveness would be difficult enough," said the military source, "but to have to go in under US operational command would be a disaster."


    What do people think about that?
    Last edited by Sharpe; 23 May 04, 21:27. Reason: mistakes

  • #2
    First of all, never trust a man named 'Justin Huggler',...it's just not right.

    Second, why is it every news REPORTER is now becoming an EDOTRIALIST. What ever happened to reporting the truth and letting the people figure things out for themselves? All this is is a report of what one guy THINKS, not the truth.

    If you honestly believe the US has been "sprayin' and a slayin'" in Iraq, you ain't seen nothing. There is so much restraint on our troops it's sickening.

    If those restraints were lifted, all this crap would end in about 2 weeks, guaranteed.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by CPangracs

      If those restraints were lifted, all this crap would end in about 2 weeks, guaranteed.
      I didn't think the US would be able to move everything out of the country in two weeks...

      Chechnya showed how indiscriminate force will just backfire.

      Falling into the Vietnam trap here, CP - as my uncle says - "room clearing with 155mm VT"
      Now listening too;
      - Russell Robertson, ruining whatever credibility my football team once had.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Ivan Rapkinov
        I didn't think the US would be able to move everything out of the country in two weeks...

        Chechnya showed how indiscriminate force will just backfire.

        Falling into the Vietnam trap here, CP - as my uncle says - "room clearing with 155mm VT"
        I get the impression nobody paid any attention to the mistakes of Chechnya.

        Comment


        • #5
          Low Profile? From the British? I geuss this means we start using snipers on unarmed demostrators. WTF was the author of that smoking?
          "Have you forgotten the face of your father?"

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Tim McBride
            Low Profile? From the British? I geuss this means we start using snipers on unarmed demostrators. WTF was the author of that smoking?
            Marko's gonna slap your bare botty for that bit of insolence.

            Comment


            • #7
              Well, its hard to judge the american strategy objective because I never was in Iraq and not to many information about the various US daily missions are known but the few reports I saw from Iraq told a telling story and clearly showed a different between the british and the american forces. A typical US raid went like this: they came in the night, smashed open the doors, handcuffed all inhabitants and layed them face down on the floor, no matter whether they were male or femal, kids or elders, turned the house upside down (including cuting the furniture) and after finding nothing they left without an apology or money for the damage they've done and an nicely carved **** in one of the doors. Winning hearts and minds ??
              The british on the other hand try to get in touch with the local civilians, instead of wearing helmets they wear berets which gives them a less aggressive land a less uniform soldier look. They also seem to be a lot less trigger happy. There are nevertheless attack on british forces but the situation in british controlled terrain seems to be more stable than the US held territory.
              "The conventional army loses if it does not win. The guerrilla wins if he does not lose."

              Henry Alfred Kissinger

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Kraut
                Well, its hard to judge the american strategy objective because I never was in Iraq and not to many information about the various US daily missions are known but the few reports I saw from Iraq told a telling story and clearly showed a different between the british and the american forces. A typical US raid went like this: they came in the night, smashed open the doors, handcuffed all inhabitants and layed them face down on the floor, no matter whether they were male or femal, kids or elders, turned the house upside down (including cuting the furniture) and after finding nothing they left without an apology or money for the damage they've done and an nicely carved **** in one of the doors. Winning hearts and minds ??
                The british on the other hand try to get in touch with the local civilians, instead of wearing helmets they wear berets which gives them a less aggressive land a less uniform soldier look. They also seem to be a lot less trigger happy. There are nevertheless attack on british forces but the situation in british controlled terrain seems to be more stable than the US held territory.
                After the end of the military operations, at the begining of the occupation the British made mistakes. Among other one they used dogs to search Iraqi house, which was a big insult for the inhabitants. When they understanded that they stoped it.

                LaPalice.
                Monsieur de La Palice est mort
                Mort devant Pavie.
                Un quart d'heure avant sa mort
                Il était encore en vie...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tim McBride
                  Low Profile? From the British? I geuss this means we start using snipers on unarmed demostrators. WTF was the author of that smoking?
                  So if we are going to talk history. Northern Ireland at the time was a scene of rioting and murder. So lets compare to Kent State University where the US national guard shot and killed US students. (Shortly after noon on that Monday, 13 seconds of rifle fire by a contingent of 28 Ohio National Guardsmen left four students dead, one permanently paralyzed, and eight others wounded. Not every student was a demonstration participant or an observer. Some students were walking to and from class. The closest student wounded was 30 yards away from the Guard, while the farthest was nearly 250 yards) Students!! What were they doing to be killed throwing petrol bombs ? Taking potshots, no, they were protesting peacefully. So if anyone has the historical precendent on killing bystanders it is again the good old US of A.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The British Army is better at peacekeeping than American troops. They draw on a long history of these kinds of operations.

                    American troops are better at fighting combined arms warfare. They know how to make good use of the assets available to them. We don't need to train an army full of infantrymen because we are not an infantry army.

                    OIF illustrated clear flaws in both the American and British Army doctrine. It is to the discredit of either service that British and Americans spend more time *itching and moaning about who's better. We'd do alot better to accept the limitations of our respective arms forces and simply try to improve it.

                    (Not talking about anyone here. I regularly hear American and British commanders complaining about one thing or the other someone else can't do better than them. It makes me sick. Sometimes the military can behave worse than politicians!)
                    "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CPangracs

                      If those restraints were lifted, all this crap would end in about 2 weeks, guaranteed.

                      Odds are the Israelis could tell you different.






                      Raven

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Raven
                        Odds are the Israelis could tell you different.
                        I bet they would say the same thing, actually. we have been restraining them for over 50 years or they would have wiped out their enemies long ago.
                        "Speaking here in my capacity as a polished, sophisticated European as well, it seems to me the laugh here is on the polished, sophisticated Europeans. They think Americans are fat, vulgar, greedy, stupid, ambitious and ignorant and so on. And they've taken as their own Michael Moore, as their representative American, someone who actually embodies all of those qualities." - Christopher Hitchens

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by kid kool
                          I bet they would say the same thing, actually. we have been restraining them for over 50 years or they would have wiped out their enemies long ago.
                          I wish that they could be let loose, but thats not gonna happpen

                          Thanks for looking!!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by kid kool
                            I bet they would say the same thing, actually. we have been restraining them for over 50 years or they would have wiped out their enemies long ago.
                            You feed the beast, but do you really think you control it?
                            "You can't change the rules in the middle of the game."
                            "Hey, you just made that rule up."


                            Heil Dicke Bertha!

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