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No lessons learnt

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posted on Jan, 26 2006 @ 05:14 PM
It would appear that the US has not leant the lessons it should have done, since it lost the guerrilla war in Viet Nam. This statement is not meant to offend anybody or denigrate the fighting ability of U.S forces in general.

According to Brigadier Nigel Aylwin-Foster, the U.S Army Instructors were ‘culturally insensitive’ and showed a ‘near catastrophic inability to understand local values. (By this I assume he means local customs or traditions)

Aylwin-Foster also claims that the need for the ‘destruction of the enemy’ was paramount instead of trying to win the ‘hearts and minds’ of their adversaries (in other words, another ‘body count’ war [my words, not his]) and rather than giving the Iraqis a basic understanding of counter-insurgency techniques, heavy handedness probably helped to alienate the Iraqis and fuel the very insurgency, they were trying to combat.

In reply, Col Kevin Benson, head of the Advanced Military Studies School, said the comments must have come from an ‘insufferable British snob!’

It would seem to me at least, that in the general war effort, America’s policy is ‘out-of-sync’ with those of the Brits, down in and around Basra whose, ‘softly-softly’ programme seemed to have been winning over the locals – at least until the Sunni uprising throughout Iraq, against current US policy.

It is my personal assertion (based on a personal involvement in the hearts and minds campaign in Oman during the 70’s) that, if the Coalition had mounted such a far reaching campaign to win Iraqi hearts and minds and had this policy been backed up by force (if necessary), then Iraq would not be in the mess it is today.

It is a common complaint amongst occupied people, that their customs and religious beliefs and local traditions are never observed by occupying forces.

In my opinion, until the Coalition forces can take on board such custums, traditions or what-have-you, or even do something as simple as removing footwear before entering a Mosque, they will never solve the insurgency problem in Iraq.

posted on Jan, 26 2006 @ 06:02 PM
Please, havent you seen how far the U.S. forces train back at home to prepare for Iraq, or soldiers in rotation? We have help from Iraqi Americans as well as Iraqis from Iraq currently participating the U.S. training facilities to make the environment as real as possible where the soldiers have to deal with culture and language barriers as well fighting at the same time.

Also, most of the American forces are in the Anbar province which is mostly comprised of Sunnis not Shiites. If the British were to be in there, the casualties would be far more than just 100 dead as well as uncounted wounded. We arent unsensitive to the problems among the Iraqi population, but the enemy is insurgents who are removed from power, and terrorists taking on the Americans. If the British were up there in central Iraq, they be facing the same losses. Has nothing to do with British doing a lot better job.

posted on Jan, 26 2006 @ 07:21 PM
"It is a common complaint amongst occupied people, that their customs and religious beliefs and local traditions are never observed by occupying forces."

You just answered your own question.

You will not Fit in Until you practice thier "Customs and Religious beliefs".

A Basic Islamic Law Summery. Our soldiers Need to Become a Muslim or pay the poll tax. (If you do not Believe that "Allah is God, And mohammed is his profit." Then you are a alien, Or worse a infidel. And as such, Must either pay a "religious tax" or worse convert under the threat of the sword.)

Read the Qur'an. You might just learn something about thier "beliefs" Also Read the "hadith's" or religious traditions And how it determines thier Sunnah or Way of life.

Self Educate yourself: (read: Bernard Lewis comments)

(also Notice: (Notice the white washing of Islam Belief about other Beliefs. Perhaps to not offend others and Gain converts?)

posted on Jan, 27 2006 @ 01:28 AM
By taking on such customs or beliefs, what I was trying to suggest (allbeit by using incorrect grammar) was that Coalition forces (Brits included) would do more good than harm, if they took on board local customs and traditions.

That does not mean convert to Islam. Far from it.

What I am suggesting is that if you enter a Mosque for other than operational requirements, you should at least remove your footwear.

Take the war to the enemy by all means, but win the hearts and minds of the population at the same time.

That is all I am suggesting. Hearts and Minds.

Deltaboy, I was not suggesting the way we Brits do things is or was better. Far from it. I was suggesting that a 'softly-softly' approach backed up by lethal force could achieve much more than going 'in' with guns blazing.

It's still all about Hearts and Minds. The Coalition is still fighting the war and not winning the peace.

posted on Jan, 29 2006 @ 12:05 AM
I wonder why so many people call Nam a guerrila war and that we lost it. Okay, it was a guerrila war, but a big one.
It was not uncommon for US forces to face enemy formaitons of several thousands in any given combat. Combat was frequent and we almost never lost a major engagement.
I'm not so sure that doing what you're suggesting would help in Iraq. What needs to be done is...
A.) Regulate the media. Now I know this would piss alot fo people off, but be honest. The media only publishes the BAD news from Iraq. And they embellish and twist the good news to try and give a bad spin on it.
B.) More troops. Simple, we need more bodies over there.
C.) Less strict rules of engagement. I'm not at all implying that we level Iraq. Trye we've done it in the past and it has always worked (The SOuth, Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan) but I don't beleive its necessary. I beleive (especially since a friend of mine was over in Iraq as a Marine, ttok part in Fallujah) that alot of these insurgents aren't Iraqi at all...rather their Syrian and or Iranian special ops or simple volunteers.
Just like in the Ho Chi Mihn trail, we have to cut off their avenues of supply (material as well as human) and (I know this is going to sound harsh) kill them. All of them. With as little civillian loss and collateral damage as possible but for God's sake if we get a chance to nail an enemy formation take it. And be ruthless about it too.
The quicker we kill them, the sooner our boys and girls can come home. Simple as that.

posted on Jan, 29 2006 @ 12:07 AM
fritz... Are you a British veteran? Just wondering, my ethnicity is 3/4ths English. i still have family up in Nottingham.

posted on Feb, 1 2006 @ 03:59 AM
Not that dastardly Sherrif of Dottin-ham, surely?
Sorry, couldn't resist that. Got a bad head cold.

Err............yes I am. My observations are based on personal experiences where it was shown to work that by winning the hearts and minds of the local population, the insurgents are robbed of their power base.

The Special Air Service invented, perfected and preaches this type of counter-insurgency to all who will willingly listen. It has worked in Malaysia, Borneo, Aden (to a lesser extent) both campaigns in Oman and to a much lesser extent in Northern Ireland.

[Northern Ireland was very difficult because a lot of Irish Americans supported the Sinn Fein/IRA with either monetry donations or arms and technical know-how and preached counter-propoganda.(Not a lot of people know that)]

IMHO, if you're going after a bunch of guys in a particular house in a certain street, surely it is much better to plant a small explosive that is capable of demolishing the house, than to call in an air strike that will level the street through collateral damage, causing untold civilian casualties.

Before anybody rants at me that this is not possible, err.....yes it is!

Either start winning the hearts and minds or get the hell out of dodge!

posted on Feb, 3 2006 @ 12:34 AM
I know what you say about Irish Americans, I know several and they still to this day spout anti-Brit rhetoric.
I have a typical American fascination with Ireland like most of us do...okay its mostly for U2 but I would never go the lengths of trying to support terrorism like that practiced by Sinn Fein.
I forgot all about Ireland and how the British resolved that conflict by literally causing the Irish people to no longer care.
With all the grumblings in iraq over the elections they had recently I am beginning to beleive you might be right.
Still think we should murder any insurgent unit we come across though, especially as I am convinced many of them are Syrian and or Iranian special ops.
But I'm not so sure that the American military is trained in low level operations like the ones carreid out at the end of the Northern Ireland conflict. To do so would mean a larger input into the war by the CIA, and I'm not so sure the military wants to relinquish control just yet.

[edit on 3-2-2006 by SpecAgentDW]

posted on Feb, 4 2006 @ 04:32 AM
Oh yes my friend I totally agree!

But Peace through superior firepower no longer works. Especially against an indiginous population who regards you as an infedel violating sacred Muslim soil, much like the Crusaders.

No my friend.

Win the hearts and minds of the people, kill only the bad guys, then get the hell out of there.

posted on Feb, 4 2006 @ 04:09 PM
Since I'm not very versed in the areas of psy-ops (typical American fascination with firepower, explosions etc...) just how could we go about winning the hearts and minds of those who are religious fanatics?
These aren't IRA style terrorists who only wanted to acheive political goals.
These guys in Iraq and Afghanistan are out for a sort of Muslim global hegemony, with the extermination of all those who oppose them.
I honestly can't see them sitting down to talk.

posted on Feb, 6 2006 @ 05:30 PM
SpecAgentDW, I don't think so.

YES, I've read the Koran, the Bible and all that
crap. It has nothing to do with world domination.

That will be achieved in the long run through breeding in countries they have emigrated to, but militarily - no way.

No my friend, Afghanistan is all about finding Osama bin Laden's WMDs which are non-existent, and the man himself.

His [bin Laden's] aim is to depose the royal house of Saud which he regards as a corrupt puppet of the west, most notably America.

Indeed, there is plenty of evidence in the White House or CIA in Langley and some of it has been made public, that many Saudis in fact support Al Qaida and the Taliban through monetry donations and political aid.

Indeed, one of the reasons SOCOM has pulled back to the Afghani and Pakistani border, is because the goals for that war have been changed. They are hell bent on seeking physical proof that bin Laden's bomb exists. (This on the word of several turncoat ex Russian Mafia types or renegade Pakistani ISI operatives)

At least the Brits are now deployed to southern Afghanistan and we should be seeing some results soon.

As I said beore SpecAgentDW, they [Muslims] want us the hell out of Iraq and all muslim countries where we are regarded at best, as an army of occupation.

Are you suggesting my friend that if a hostile force invaded your country, in an illegal act, promptly won the war then stayed when it was all over, that you would not take up arms to rid your country of the invader?

You would? Then you and I can hardly get angry when they do the same, irrespective of what their political or religious beliefs might be.

posted on Feb, 6 2006 @ 08:48 PM
I think what fritz was getting at is that it wouldn't hurt to show some respect for local culture when you invade a country. If I misunderstood, then sorry about that, fritz.

In any case, I think there's a lot of truth to that. You get more bees with honey, and all that ... Besides, it's not the citizens we have a beef with, it's their leaders. It's only a matter of common decency to show some respect for the ways of those who are innocent.

For those who can't find it in themselves to be decent human beings, I hope their town is invaded someday by an occupying force that treats them like dirt. Turnabout is fair play, after all ...

posted on Feb, 6 2006 @ 09:49 PM
Actually, yes I would fight any invavader of my nation, and if I had to die I'd ensure I took as many as those bastards (whoever said bastards may be....maybe French Canadians??..nahh..) with me as I could.
(Fairly good shot myself, military brat)
I still think that this is indeed a religious war.
True the short range goal will be to rid the Middle East of all Western influence.
But I think it's a little short sighted to beleive it's going to stop there.
Read the new book by Ralph Peters for more on this opinion.

posted on Feb, 7 2006 @ 01:35 AM
netbound, you got it at last.

Not putting you down guy, but you are right. That's exactly what I meant. It is such a simple thing to do.

Tom Clancy hit on the idea with the Swiss Guards in one of his novels, where every time they met a Mullah, they removed their helmets and sun glasses and saluted - not only as a mark of respect for the man's religious beliefs and his 'office', but also as a mark of respect for his social standing ib the local community.

It would be so easy for troops to remove helmets, shoes or boots before entering a mosque and to negotiate entrance with sidearms only, as it is against religious beliefs to bring weapons into a Mosque. Of course if insurgents are holed up in a Mosque, it would be much better if coalition forces provided supporting fire but Iraqi forces assaulted.

We can win the hearts and minds campaign, but it would and does require a radical rethink of US strategic policy in Iraq. As I said before, peace through superior firepower no longer works.

SpecAgent, I have read the Koran. It is this book by which Muslims across the globe lead, their lives.

I know what it says about fighting for Islam and expanding Islam across the globe but, as I said, they will never be able to establish the Caliphate by military means.

posted on Feb, 8 2006 @ 10:48 AM

This is kind of off subjuect but in your opinion (I'm asking since you have real life experience) what would the consequences be of a sudden US pullout of Iraq right now?

posted on Feb, 22 2006 @ 12:10 PM
SpecAgentDW, did I ever get back to you?

posted on Feb, 25 2006 @ 11:21 PM
No actually you didn't, but thats okay, my attention got diverted.
Still, an answer with someone coming from a military background and not a political one would be nice to hear.

posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 10:04 AM
I will get back to you. Very busy at present but will research when I can.

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