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FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. - At this historic Army post on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River, the Army has mounted an intense effort to train its soldiers how to fight insurgents more effectively in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond.
Fort Leavenworth is where all-black regiments known as ''buffalo soldiers'' once galloped off to police the American frontier. Later generations here studied how to defeat Soviet tank divisions. Now the United States Army Combined Arms Center has retooled the Army's leadership and training programs to focus on what motivates insurgents, the strategies and tactics they use and the cultures in which they operate.
The shift away from major combat operations to irregular warfare is one of the most significant changes in doctrine and training the Army has undertaken since World War II.
''It's a big change for our Army,'' said Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus, the Iraq war veteran who commands the Combined Arms Center. ``Although we have done lots of counterinsurgency operations over the years, historically we have, as an institution, tended to refocus on major combat operations, the big battles, after each of our counterinsurgency operations was over.''
Large-scale war remained the Army's focus even after the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Since then, however, that focus has changed as it's become clear that Iraq and Afghanistan are part of a long guerrilla struggle that could last decades.
The exercises involve hundreds of Arab and Afghan American role players. Soldiers are given a number of missions to accomplish while fending off improvised explosive and sniper attacks. Whether they succeed depends on the relationships they establish with the villagers.
Basic trainees at Army bases in Georgia, South Carolina, Kentucky, Missouri and Oklahoma now learn how to spot and avoid roadside bombs, react to ambushes on their convoys and train with local security forces.
Hundreds of additional students enroll annually in Arabic, Pashtun and other languages at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif. And any soldier can download a course in Arabic from the Army's website for free.
Computer specialists at Fort Leavenworth's Battle Command Knowledge System run three dozen online forums where soldiers in the field can share information.
Books on al Qaeda, militant Islam, Iraqi and Afghan history and the Muslim world are now required reading for majors and lieutenant colonels at the Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth. There also are courses on Middle East culture and on Islam. A week is devoted to the study of irregular warfare.
Originally posted by LightWorker13
Its pretty sad that people havent yet grasp the plainly obvious fact that this whole bogus War on Terror is, at the very least, not what we are being told it is.
You really think that a bunch of untrained, sneaky lil Islamic extremists, operating out of caves and basements, could actually even pose a threat, nevermind match up and even surpass, the might of the American military, you really think that so called "Al Queda" is any kind of match for you Americans, you must be out of your mind.
The fact is, there is no islamic extremism. Period. Of course if Islamic Extremism is Arabs taking up arms to kick you guys out of their country, then maybe yea there is. If islamic extremism is a small group of goofballs who hate and despise what the Zionists forces have done to their people for half a century, and have been coerced by some CIA or Mossad agent to yell chants of "down with America" and "Death to infidels", then yea they maybe there is Islamic Extremism. But, for a small organization like Al Queda to be openly and succesfully fighting the most powerful military might on the planet, the most technologically advanced, with the greatest intelligence gathering powers, America....that simply is preposterous. It ISNT TRUE! Al Queda, at best, is nothing more than a small contigent of renegade terror groups, who were founded and funded by Washington and London in the first place!
The only time that Islamic extremism ever could even thought about existing, the only time when it ever even looked like it appeared on the map, was when YOU guys, well not you guys but your American Government, were funding and arming them to fight against the Soviet Russian expansion in Afghanistan back in the 80s, they were helping the Muja-Hadeen. In fact, if you can remember, back in the 80s, Bin Laden was presented to us as a HERO by our press and propoganda machines, oh what a great hero, fighting against the Russian expansion for the good of the Islamic people....
20 years later, now hes the big boogey man, hes the enemy, we must kill and destroy him and his whole organization, who we cant destroy cuz they are sneaky lil bastards who seem to be outsmarting and outfighting us every single day, because they are just so hell-bent on destroying us because they are evil and hate our freedom....
Mubarak: "No. Some people advised Sadat to encourage the Islamic groups to tackle Communism. This advice was, of course, inappropriate, because Communism did not live in our countries and did not succeed in its own country. But when the so-called Mujahideen went to Afghanistan, they became more extreme, and began to disseminate extremist ideas. People like Omar Abd Al-Rahman and bin Laden were American heroes. This is what I told the Americans themselves on television."
The press coverage of this era was overwhelmingly positive, even glowing, with regard to the guerrillas’ conduct in Afghanistan. Their unsavory features were downplayed or omitted altogether. While some newspapers favored some restraint in the degree of U.S. military support for the Mujahiddin (notably the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post) and others (like the Wall Street Journal) favored a more open-ended policy, these differences were only matters of degree. Virtually all papers favored some amount of U.S. military support; and there was near unanimous agreement that the guerrillas were "heroic," "courageous" and above all "freedom fighters."
To the editors of the centrist New Republic (6/13/83), the Mujahiddin were "fighting the good fight," while an editorial in the Wall Street Journal (12/30/87) celebrated "the heroic struggle waged by the Afghan freedom fighters." According to the L.A. Times (6/23/86): "The Afghan guerrillas have earned the admiration of the American people for their courageous struggle.... The rebels deserve unstinting American political support and, within the limits of prudence, military hardware."
A columnist in the Christian Science Monitor (1/9/87) placed the Mujahiddin among the great heroes of recent times:
Heroes come in many shapes and sizes.... The civil rights leaders who led American blacks to equality that society had denied them. The Sakharovs who have held up the flame of freedom in the Soviet Union. The tattered Vietnamese refugees who put to sea in leaky boats. The Afghan freedom fighters.
In an editorial (12/27/84), the Washington Post offered this encomium to the Afghan rebels:
They managed to put down a brave resistance. Simple people, fighting with hand-me-down weapons, have borne tremendous costs and kept a modern well-armed state from imposing an alien political will. The fight for freedom in Afghanistan is an awesome spectacle and deserves generous tribute.
Q: "But why is Saudi Arabia also under attack?"
Mubarak: "This too is incomprehensible. Perhaps it is a Jewish act, pushed by Israel, to humiliate [the Arabs]. But what has this attack on us achieved? Nothing.