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The Art of Losing a War, American-Style

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posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 03:28 PM
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The latest posting of Fred Reed of Fredoneverything.net was an absolute classic. Clearly sarcasm, it holds legitimate military lessons that will last long after the U.S. is no longer in Iraq. Take a read if you want to understand why the U.S. has had so much trouble since the Persian Gulf War:

Victory Infalliable

Here's a couple of my favorites:



(3) Explain the invasion to the American public in simple moral terms suitable for middle-school children at an evangelical summer camp: We are bombing cities to bring the gift of democracy and American values, or to defeat some vague but frightening evil, perhaps lurking under the bed, or to get rid of a bad dictator no longer of service to us, or to bring freedom and prosperity to any survivors. (This doesn’t work in Europe, which is honestly imperialistic.) The public can then feel a sense of unappreciated virtue when the primitives resist. Sententious moralism should always trump reason.


#3 is what was quite telling to me because I realized that even after all this time, a huge portion of the U.S. population still thinks like this when it comes to evaluating the Iraq War



(7) Keep up to date with the latest nostrums and silver bullets. Organize your military as a lean, mean, high-tech force characterized by lightning mobility, enormous firepower, and extraordinary unsuitability for the kind of wars it will actually have to fight. Flacks from the PR department of Lockheed will help in this. Recognize that an advanced fighter plane costing two hundred million dollars, invisible to radar, employing dazzling electronic countermeasures, and able to cruise at supersonic speed, is exactly the thing for fighting a rifleman in a basement in Baghdad. Such aircraft are crucial force multipliers in multi-dimensional warfare. Anyway, Al Qaeda might field an advanced air force at any moment. It pays to be ready.


This is perfect food for thought for the space cadets that roam "Weaponry" and "Advanced Aircraft Projects" on ATS.




posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 06:56 PM
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I'm in the british army and this is my 2pence


The US army is not, in its current state, configured to the type of war it is waging. The US Army is still, to my amazment, geared for Cold war type of battlfields. I would feel very sorry for any nation including my own who tried to take on the USA with conventional battle tactics, but for Urban warfare the US lacks in all departmentments apart from technology.

1. Mentality.

The Regular US troops are very ignorant, I always heard them talking about ragheads! they cannot comprehend the fact that not every Muslim, person of middle eastern origin is not necessary a terrorist/insurgent. They operate a system of shoot first. They show disrespect to the citizens of Iraq (openly) and wonder why they are dispised. They also lack discipline. Even the Marines, SEAL's etc. show the above traits but also reinforce the above traits by their solid belief that they are superior to all men. This mentality is not necessarily the fault of the men it is mostly attributed to their training and the conduct of US officers who actually promote this type of behavior and what I call "Hooah mentality"

The wrong mentality in this kind of conflict is counterproductive as you loose the trust of the local populace and cause otherwise possibly coopertive civilians to take to arms. The Iraqi people as a whole do believe the US troops are there to kill them. in Britain even our regular army soldier is taught to respect the local population we are briefed on their beliefs and customs, we are told to win their hearts and minds. Apart from a few bad apples the majority of the the british army do this part of warfare very well. I was also trained to use the population as one of the most powerful weapons in my arsenal, tribal populations know exactly who is where and what they are doing and if they trust you they will give out better intelligence than our army intel can!

2. Strategy.

The US strategy of raiding houses, shooting upon suspicion, shock 'n' awe and treating every Iraqi as a possible enemy combatent etc. Is not working, it can not work. It is the tactics used by an Invading force and not a stabalising force. Saying that, the local populations opinion on US troops has reached a point of no return because of the above mentioned tactics. The British use a tactic used and proved in Northern Ireland. That is to not shoot until shot upon, to engage actively with the local population.

The stategy from the start of the war has meant US failure from the start, as I mentioned before Iraqi citizens view on the US army has gone past the point of no return, a change to less aggressive tactics will no longer work.


3. Equipment
The gear the US troops have as standard is 10 years ahead of the britsh army. It's just a shame it can't be used effectively. Luckily my unit doesn't use the SA80 A2 (Spit on floor)

The US has only 2 options and only one of them is viable,

The unviable option is to up the aggresivness of its strategy and actually go to war with the country of Iraq. This would mean the loss of UN/NATO assistance bacause it would be completly illegal and could well be the ultimate catylist for another world war.

The remaining option would mean pulling out of all US troops, after all they are hated by the people they are there to liberate/protect. Now I don't know what this scenario would do to Iraq, I do not imagine it will be pretty though!



posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 07:04 PM
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How about you Brits switch sides and see if you can handle the Sunni population while the Americans deal with the Shiites and lets see how effective that is. I'm certain the Triangle of Death will welcome yaaaww.



posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 07:13 PM
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Jimmy1880,

The fact of the matter is, guerrilla warfare can only be fought with guerrilla warfare. That is the major challenge of both assymmetrical and unconventional warfare; a conventional military designed to fight symmetrical conflicts cannot possibly fight a guerrilla enemy and expect to win.

Basically, everything has gone wrong.



posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 07:24 PM
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Well, I don't want to say this, but the only way to win conventionally against an unconventional war is to kill everything until the enemy surrenders, sadly.



posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 07:42 PM
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Originally posted by deltaboy
Well, I don't want to say this, but the only way to win conventionally against an unconventional war is to kill everything until the enemy surrenders, sadly.



Seriously, get a reality check! This comment has actually gobsmacked me, I don't know what to write!!!
!!!

Your the kind of person that beleives the US is at war against Iraq, aren't you!

I bet I have guessed correctly these word associations as you would answer:

Muslim = Terrorist
Arab = Terrorist
Shiite = Terrorist
Shia = Terrorist
Afghanis = Terrorists

My nan always used to tell me "If you haven't anything constructive to say, don't say it at all!"

ATS's slogan Deny Ignorance means nothing to you does it.

FYI you are now on my Ignore list, so don't waste your energy flaming me!



[edit on 29/1/07 by Jimmy1880]



posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 07:52 PM
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Originally posted by sweatmonicaIdo
Jimmy1880,

The fact of the matter is, guerrilla warfare can only be fought with guerrilla warfare. That is the major challenge of both assymmetrical and unconventional warfare; a conventional military designed to fight symmetrical conflicts cannot possibly fight a guerrilla enemy and expect to win.

Basically, everything has gone wrong.


Hi sweatmonicaIdo,

assymmetrical and unconventional warfare have been around for decades, please can you explain to me why the US army have not adapted, why are they going into a situation like Iraq with conventional tactics. IMO the people in charge of the US military doctrine deserve to be lynched, the way they tell US to fight has killed thousands of US countrymen! and thousands more Iraqi civilians!

Instead of doing it's original mission of ousting Saddam then keeping the peace. The US army through it's bad planning has caused a pointless bloodbath thats getting worse!

I hope serious lessons are learnt from this, but I doubt it.



posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 08:06 PM
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What makes people think we want to win??? We have a real money maker and the republicans don't have any friends or family fighting there to worry about $$$$$ The democrats will to try to ge us out and be looked as weak by the republicans when really all their trying to do is clean up the mess.

It's a lose - lose situation

mikell



posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 08:19 PM
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Originally posted by Jimmy1880

Seriously, get a reality check! This comment has actually gobsmacked me, I don't know what to write!!!
!!!

Your the kind of person that beleives the US is at war against Iraq, aren't you!

I bet I have guessed correctly these word associations as you would answer:

Muslim = Terrorist
Arab = Terrorist
Shiite = Terrorist
Shia = Terrorist
Afghanis = Terrorists

My nan always used to tell me "If you haven't anything constructive to say, don't say it at all!"

ATS's slogan Deny Ignorance means nothing to you does it.

FYI you are now on my Ignore list, so don't waste your energy flaming me!


Wow, I been gone for a few minutes to check up on my presentation power points and I come back here to see somebody is pissed off and puts me on ignore list which I don't really care.

As a matter of fact, I was stating a fact of how conventional forces deal with guerrilla warfare as in the past, for example the Phillipine-American War. Its true that our forces are not ready for guerrilla warfare even though we got tens of thousands of personnel that deals with that type of warfare but its not enough. So what do you do with what you have, huh? You got a large Marine and Army force in Iraq that fights conventional, what do you do with it?

I'm not provoking anybody and it seems you can't counter what I have to say, so you are treating me an idiot. You could have said "deltaboy, that tactic will not work because past history shows it and I can back it up and so on."


And based on the assumptions that I am narrow minded to think that every Muslim or Arab is a terrorist just makes me laugh. I'm not racist.

And for the fact that we are at war in Iraq unless you want to call it a police action or something, but losing abou 3,000 American troops and hundreds of thousands of civilians, it seems to be more than just some low intensity conflict. Why do people call it Iraq War, huh?



posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 09:27 PM
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Originally posted by Jimmy1880
Hi sweatmonicaIdo,

assymmetrical and unconventional warfare have been around for decades, please can you explain to me why the US army have not adapted, why are they going into a situation like Iraq with conventional tactics. IMO the people in charge of the US military doctrine deserve to be lynched, the way they tell US to fight has killed thousands of US countrymen! and thousands more Iraqi civilians!

Instead of doing it's original mission of ousting Saddam then keeping the peace. The US army through it's bad planning has caused a pointless bloodbath thats getting worse!

I hope serious lessons are learnt from this, but I doubt it.


Its a real baffling question with absolutely no answer. If you read the stuff published by the U.S. Army's Center for Lessons Learned, you will see that the U.S. military as a whole learned a lot of things from not just our experience in Vietnam, but also the experiences of the Soviets in Afghanistan, China in Vietnam, etc.

The way I see it, the military is not the problem. Its the politicians. It sounds cliche, but the fact of the matter is, without support from Congress and the president, the military will always be put in unfavorable situations. As much as I supported the massive cutbacks of the 1990s, it was too much, too fast, thanks to President Clinton. Making matters worse, he frequently committed military forces in the Balkans, Africa, and Iraq. A military should not be used to a significant degree during a period of transition. The U.S. was smart to not commit military forces in the late 1970s and that helped them get it back together in the 1980s.

But to balance out the blame, the U.S. military has some very under-publicized institutional issues. Our institution has been a handicap to our success in Iraq.

There are too many reasons to state as to why we are doing as we do. To be as blunt as possible, the U.S. military is fighting a war it cannot sustain.



posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 09:41 PM
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Originally posted by Jimmy1880
The Regular US troops are very ignorant, I always heard them talking about ragheads! they cannot comprehend the fact that not every Muslim, person of middle eastern origin is not necessary a terrorist/insurgent. They operate a system of shoot first. They show disrespect to the citizens of Iraq (openly) and wonder why they are dispised. They also lack discipline. Even the Marines, SEAL's etc. show the above traits but also reinforce the above traits by their solid belief that they are superior to all men. This mentality is not necessarily the fault of the men it is mostly attributed to their training and the conduct of US officers who actually promote this type of behavior and what I call "Hooah mentality"



Well this explains why the british armed forces are really a Faux military force that is primarily for show. I mean, what real use are they? They dont seem to be able to differentiate between enemy and friend. From what I understand, they can barely keep afghanistan under wraps after the US forces withdrew. I remember reading several british officers being dismissed from working with americans for incompetance, not to mention the RAF. I think if they spent less time worrying about tea time and their pants that are always chaffing them, they would be better soldiers.
.



posted on Jan, 30 2007 @ 06:48 AM
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Xphilesphan,

I see no corrolation to my quote and your reply, please advise



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