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Great stuff!  Looking forward to your next contribution!

17 hours, 27 minutes ago on The Harmonious Fist Of China: Twenty Years of Strategy In The Making

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@Luddite4Change @majrod @Riceball 


I again agree but again I have seen even leaders who fairly evaluate and can defend their position choose not hold protected persons to standard because they didn't want the distraction of having to defend themselves (which is a sneaky way of not admitting you're scared). It can be a time intensive event that is only more draining with the severity of the infraction.  Often commanders just "overlook" the one not meeting the standard as if the standard didn't exist or just change the standard.


I share your concern about being peered out but in some cases the peer evaluations are the ONLY sanction for someone that won't pull their weight on patrol.  After initial testing there are few physical tests required of the Ranger student and no where is it stated that Ranger students must carry an equal load. (Patrol leaders are required to spread the load but not make it equal) 

There is already HUGE pressure on RI's.  I can easily see an approach where women are not held to the same standard as the men (which is my point to the whole previous paragraph).


Again, no one has stated the women will be held to the male admission standards.  What has been stated are the MALE standards which are the 18 year old male standards to score 80% in each category. The requirements for an 18 year old female to attain the same points on the PT test are 40% easier in pushups, 20% easier in the run and don't exist in the pull ups. 


I've seen this approach at West Point on the Indoor Obstacle Course where the male standards are "publicized" and the female standards including workarounds for difficult obstacles are not discussed while the powers that be declare "equal standards".


BTW, Ranger school instructors have not been part of the discussion here at Ft. Benning so while I agree with you that the Army is going to avoid accusations of "stacking the deck" against women don't be so sure that deck isn't being stacked for women.  FWIW, officers in building four walk in fear over the subject.  The message has gone out.  Consider that even questioning the policy is considered "disloyal" and you know what that word means reference your evaluation.

2 days, 13 hours ago on Army looking for women volunteers for Ranger school

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@Luddite4Change @majrod @Riceball 

Agree in general except when those individuals fall in "protected" groups.

I have observed leadership not as strictly enforce standards on individuals in those groups because of a fear of EO, discrimination or congressional investigation complaints.


Commanders that don't want to deal with the bother (or risk) either accept substandard behavior and move the individual along so it remains the system's problem or place them in a position where they can do the least damage.

2 days, 17 hours ago on Army looking for women volunteers for Ranger school

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@YankeePapa 

Great article.

The female officer will be characterized as a sellout as she's viciously attacked by those with an agenda and the metrosexual men that want to one up each other in demonstrating how "fair and modern" they are in their promotion of women.

Few to none will have ever been Infantry...

2 days, 17 hours ago on Army looking for women volunteers for Ranger school

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@Luddite4Change @majrod @Riceball 

"Talk is cheap, its something entirely different when a person actually has to sign on the dotted line an perform."


Yes, as a Tac back at the Academy I remember on occasion listening to female cadets complaining about the injustice of not being able to go Infantry.  They tended to quiet down when reminded by their male classmates about how they loved and performed during "Infantry Week" during advanced cadet training.


I would ask why they wanted to go Infantry and they ALL responded about a perceived advantage in getting promoted.  I responded that choosing a branch because of promotion opportunities is diametrically opposed to the Officer value of "service" and personally wouldn't want to be associated with an officer that made decisions based on what would get him/her promoted.


There's a great article that YP clued me in on that speaks in a similar vein.  http://www.militarytimes.com/article/20140917/CAREERS/309170049   Another article you likely won't see discussed on "The Best Defense"

2 days, 19 hours ago on Army looking for women volunteers for Ranger school

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@Luddite4Change @majrod @Riceball 

Oh no I think not.  They have exceeded the tradition of "the suck" with body armor.  

2 days, 20 hours ago on Army looking for women volunteers for Ranger school

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@Luddite4Change @majrod @Riceball 

Ah, you're younger than I.

FWIW the radios today are a fraction of the size the PRC 77 and SINCGARS were.

3 days, 11 hours ago on Army looking for women volunteers for Ranger school

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@The Ed Glad I could help.  I'm kicking the tires on their latest which has an external battery box.  The only downside is it comes with a low profile riser and I would like to test it with a cowitness on AR iron sights. 


The plus side is I'm told the latest is compatible with quick disconnect mounts.  Some people want to be able to remove their sight quickly.  Personally, I'm not taking the sight off after I zero it unless I have to replace a battery and this is supposed to run five years.

3 days, 15 hours ago on Holosun Micro Red Dot Sight Review

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@Luddite4Change @Riceball 

Just out of curiosity when did you go the basic course?


I agree with much of what you said specifically that serving as an Infantry officer without a tab can be challenging and that Ranger School is more demanding than the Infantry Officer's Basic Course but IOBC (or IBOLC as it's now called) is far from the "gentleman's course" it was in the 70's.  You spend 2 days short of half the course in the field.  They actually have many of the Ranger school standards incorporated in the graduation requirements e.g. 5 miles in 40 min, 12 mile road march with real ruck load (not the 35lb air assault joke), the same land navigation course etc..


Now the big differences is that you sleep and eat more in IOBC and the male standards.  It remains to be seen if women will be held to the male standards...


You can see the Army IOBC graduation requirements here on p2 http://www.benning.army.mil/infantry/199th/content/pdf/2-11%20IN%20Fatheads.pdf


They do get most weekends off though which we did not in the 80's.

3 days, 16 hours ago on Army looking for women volunteers for Ranger school

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@YankeePapa @majrod @Minou_Demimonde @BrandonWebb @jglow69

You really have to put a disclaimer out there like your book alerts YP.

I experienced carbonated drink coming out of my nose and now trying to figure out how to get the spray out from between the keys in my keyboard.


By act of Congress I am an officer and gentleman, "knuckledragger" is just a moniker for Infantrymen.  I don't consider myself exceptionally hairy and am not overly fond of Bananas.

6 days, 9 hours ago on President Obama is No Hercules: The Hydra of Radical Islam

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@Riceball Let me know what your experience is when you put the sight through its paces.

6 days, 9 hours ago on Holosun Micro Red Dot Sight Review

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@Minou_Demimonde @BrandonWebb @jglow69 

Yes it is.  The Muslims claimed the crusades for centuries after as a ruse to inflame the population.  

The West didn't have any troops in the ME when the Muslims invaded Spain and tried to invade Eastern Europe. 

1 week ago on President Obama is No Hercules: The Hydra of Radical Islam

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@BrandonWebb @majrod @jglow69 

Yes, I've also served in the ME also.  I'm not saying our presence doesn't cause issues from time to time.  Heck, troops in Germany caused issues with the locals on occasion unless you consider the Beider Mienhoff terrorists cause to withdraw from Germany in the midst of the Cold War .

It's not the cause of current conflict.  Heck killing locals by accident is used by the enemy to stir opposition that doesn't mean we should stop using airstrikes. There are MANY good reasons we keep troops in the ME that are overwhelmingly more important than Islamic Radicals propaganda..


The Cuban Missile Crisis is not a good example.  The two ideologies were at war with each other (unless you want to make the case that we are waging war against Islam and every Muslim is a radical Muslim, I don't think so).  Further the Russians kept troops and nuclear armed missiles (tactical) in Cuba for decades after the Cuban Missile Crisis.  They were never mentioned in our dissent with Cuba.  If your example held water we'd have had at least some significant clashes with the Cubans since 1963 on the Cuban mainland (vicinity Gitmo).

We can agree to disagree I just can't let you rewrite history. 

1 week ago on President Obama is No Hercules: The Hydra of Radical Islam

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@LawyerHandle 

And NOTHING will be said in the MSM.

Consider how many times we've heard Rumsfeld/Bush pummeled for not listening to Shinseki who didn't support the troop lean approach...

1 week ago on American Combat Troops inevitable return to Iraq Part II

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@steelhorse They are counting on us not putting it together.

1 week, 2 days ago on American Combat Troops inevitable return to Iraq Part II

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Thanks Loren, you took me back to those days and made me get something in my eye.

1 week, 2 days ago on My First 9-11

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@YankeePapa 

Operation Here We Go Again

Operation Deja vu 

Operation Back in Iraq

Operation Ayatollah Assist 

Operation RF II (Nor Rat F---, Residual Force)

Operation No Boots

Operation Mission Accomplished

Operation JV

Operation Diminished & Destroyed

Operation Surgical Strike

Operation Red Line

Operation Inauguration Day

Operation No Combat Troops

Operation Obamacare

Operation ISIL (I Saw Iraq Last)


and last but not least...


Operation Raw (War spelt backwards)

1 week, 2 days ago on Iraq Airstrikes Battle Damage Assessment to Date

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@LawyerHandle 

No problem.  Iran and Russia are picking up the slack.

http://complex.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2014/09/10/tehrans_boots_on_the_ground_iraq_syria_islamic_state_isis_iran?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=*Situation%20Report&utm_campaign=SITREP%20SEPT.%2011%202014


STUNNING that no one has picked up who is helping us.  


Reminds me of an old Irish saying, "Show me your friends and I'll tell you who you are."

1 week, 2 days ago on Iraq Airstrikes Battle Damage Assessment to Date

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@CarlRC 

FWIW, Politico came out with this one today.

To Defeat the Islamic State, Follow the Money  Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/09/to-defeat-isil-follow-the-money-110825.html#ixzz3D23Axq5n


The money quote, "ISIL raises most of its money domestically in Iraq and Syria. Its income streams include oil smuggled to other countries in the region, extortion, taxes—especially on non-Muslim minorities—and other essentially criminal activities."

Interesting stuff on how ISIS pays its troops also.

1 week, 2 days ago on President Obama is No Hercules: The Hydra of Radical Islam

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@Waterborne 

FWIW we spend about a trillion dollars a year on education.  The Chinese spend about a 100 billion with three times the population.  More money isn't the answer.

1 week, 2 days ago on President Obama is No Hercules: The Hydra of Radical Islam

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@BrandonWebb @majrod @jglow69 

Brandon, I don't understand how the Cuban Missile Crisis is an example of permanent military presence causing conflict.

Gitmo on the other hand is an example of a military base that hasn't caused conflict.  Our disagreements with Cuba are much deeper than the presence of Gitmo and that's why we have issues.  Our naval presence in Qatar or Army base in Kuwait aren't the cause of conflict.

Add Bosnia to the list.

We can agree to disagree but the historical record is pretty strong.

1 week, 2 days ago on President Obama is No Hercules: The Hydra of Radical Islam

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@CarlRC 

I don't disagree Carl that Arabs in certain countries are funding terror.  I'd even agree that some Arab countries from time to time do it for their own twisted reasons (like when we wouldn't support the Syrian rebels and Saudi & Qatar stepped into the vacuum) but a major component that never seems to get addressed are Islamic money practices and the use of charities to fund terrorists. http://www.cfr.org/terrorist-financing/tracking-down-terrorist-financing/p10356 

If a Saudi, Yemeni etc. high roller uses couriers to get funding to a terrorist group is the host nation responsible if it is trying to keep that from happening?  I guess just as responsible as the nation who issues a passport to these foreign fighters traveling to join the jihad.  Hello al-Awlaki...

Further these terrs aren't dumb, they are figuring out a multitude of ways to fund themselves including selling oil, ransoming hostages to European countries that pay, extortion, taxing Christians etc.


So yeah, I'm with you on some of this money coming from Arab countries but the problem is much bigger than Arab gov'ts playing both ends.

FTR, not saying it doesn't happen.  I'm saying there's more money coming from other sources and they ALL should be addressed. 

1 week, 3 days ago on President Obama is No Hercules: The Hydra of Radical Islam

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@BrandonWebb @jglow69 

Brandon, you haven't offered any examples where the withdrawal of US troops lowered tensions though North Korea's Kim Jong-un would agree with you.

US troops are extremely secluded from the population in the middle east.  There is no ongoing friction except that Americans are breathing.

There was a time we didn't have a huge footprint in the Middle East.  Iran started holding the free flow of oil hostage.  Saddam Hussein invaded a sovereign country.  Promoting withdrawal while ignoring that kind of history begs for a repeat.

Bin Laden wasn't a rational actor.  Who kills thousands because you occupy some sand in the middle of nowhere?  Holding the US responsible for violence just for being somewhere makes as much sense as someone trying to burn your house down because you parked in front of their house.

1 week, 3 days ago on President Obama is No Hercules: The Hydra of Radical Islam

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@Luddite4Change @majrod @LawyerHandle 

Thanks.  You're right and I think you may have meant OIF at some point.  :)

As an aside, you won't see this side of the debate on Rick's blog... 

1 week, 3 days ago on American Combat Troops inevitable return to Iraq Part II

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@LadyHW maybe, but it isn't going to happen.  Iran will be a nuke power.

1 week, 3 days ago on American Combat Troops inevitable return to Iraq Part II

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@Luddite4Change @majrod @LawyerHandle 

OEF ended a long time ago.  It was replace by Operation New Dawn AND Obama declared combat operations over...

It's extremely convenient to forget New Dawn and the NUMEROUS comments since.  The Pres is announcing a new three year campaign.  If the Pres wages war (not short contingency ops) he is usurping Congressional constitutional powers.

1 week, 3 days ago on American Combat Troops inevitable return to Iraq Part II

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@YankeePapa Thanks.

"Of course, if ISIS out of the picture Turkey might rethink its current tolerance of the Kurds..."

That deserved to be said twice.

1 week, 3 days ago on American Combat Troops inevitable return to Iraq Part II

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@LawyerHandle 

Yes the polls are reassuring but the public's ignorance is not.  Too many people today believe the BS that air-power can be decisive on its own.  As our TV's are filled with drone footage of ordnance blowing the occasional ISIS target to smithereens, people will equate explosions with effectiveness and we'll soon here how AQ, whoops, I mean ISIS is "on the run".


Something that hasn't been touched upon is the President's limitation on waging war.  He can of course take action unilaterally for reasons of time but he must go in front of congress and given the Libya experiment I don't expect to see this.  Further growth of the Imperial Presidency.

1 week, 3 days ago on American Combat Troops inevitable return to Iraq Part II

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@Michael_mike Be sure to read that New Yorker article.  It really fills in the picture on how Iraq has reached the point its at as well as providing some insight into the roles of a multitude of players e.g. Shia, Sunni, Kurds, Iranians, and the US.


I also think the observations by various credible sources on how the presence of US ground troops can help and influence Iraqi governing without necessarily firing shots is especially important if we really want to FIX the problems vs. kicking cans down the road.

1 week, 6 days ago on American Combat Troops inevitable return to Iraq Part I

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@LawyerHandle 

I'll get to it in Part II but I would qualify your statement.

No significant action.

Just like in Syria when advised to take significant action the Pres opted for a course of action that would make the least impact but satisfy the low information voter.  We supposedly disarmed Syria of chemical weapons.  The problem is they have continued to use chem and maintain the capability to make more if not already owning significant stocks.  Only a fool would believe Assad declared ALL his chem stockpile.  Inspectors did not physically visit a key facility because it was too dangerous.  They inspected with "sealed cameras" carried by  (wait for it)...  Assad's troops.  There were other discrepencies in the chemical disarming effort that the media has conveniently ignored because of their overarching interest to cover for their whole hearted support of the Pres.  The media cannot afford to show it was wrong out of pride and a desire toinfluence the 2016 election.


Our actions in response to Russian aggression in Ukraine are also symptomatic of the Obama approach.  Protest loudly, send MRE's.


I predict you'll see much of the same in Iraq with the caveat that the administration will take targeted, extremely limited kinetic action in the middle east to achieve the ultimate goal, delay to Jan 2017.


That way when things go to hell in a hand basket he can claim it was the force of his personality that kept the peace.  He'll be giving future presidents advice for the next 30 years.  Think Carter on steroids.



1 week, 6 days ago on American Combat Troops inevitable return to Iraq Part I

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@Tango9 

Nice sounding set up.  Trijicon quality is legendary.

2 weeks ago on Holosun Micro Red Dot Sight Review

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@Tango9 

Getting old?  

Well, you are either getting older or feeding maggots 6' under.

I get what you are saying though.  I'm looking to add a magnifier to help tired eyes.  (another reason for a micro red dot to preserve space on top of the rail and not push accessories out on top of a barrel)


Glad to see you participating here.


(BTW, EOtechs are great, that would be my next choice if I didn't want to run a micro)

2 weeks ago on Holosun Micro Red Dot Sight Review

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@Tango9 

I wouldn't say a wholesale purge but officers have been severely disciplined for not touting the PC line.

The Navy relieved a Captain of an aircraft carrier over a safety video he had produced two years earlier that poked fun at gays.  The relief came the week after DADT was withdrawn based on an anonymous complaint. 


I've documented here the treatment of Marine Major James Weirick who has made a case of the command influence that court martialed the Marines who urinated on the dead Taliban.  Many got felony convictions and kicked out of the service.


There was a BDE Commander who was temporarily relieved as his combat BDE was deploying to Iraq because he gave a tough speech to his female troops.  Three leaders felt holding them responsible for enforcing the standard was holding them responsible for causing sexual harrassment.  The Col was eventually cleared but the message was sent.


No officer today is going to do anything that might be considered anti-PC if he wants a career.  So the impact is that PC is reinforced.  Welcome to the new "hope and change" military.

2 weeks ago on 2x Brit Muslims Fight for ISIS Than UK Military, That’s not the Shocking Part

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@YankeePapa 

Thanks YP, any complement from you is a rave.

2 weeks, 2 days ago on American Combat Troops inevitable return to Iraq Part I

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Nigel Farage, UK Independence Party Leader explains why so many Brits have sided with ISIS.

 “We’ve seen an increased radicalization within the United Kingdom, much of this I’m afraid to say is a self-inflicted wound. We’ve had four decades of state-sponsored multiculturalism. We’ve actually encouraged people not to come together and be British but to live separately, to live apart. … There are similarities [to the United States]. We even have the last Archbishop of Canterbury suggesting that Sharia law be acceptable in British cities. So, I’m afraid we have been weak and we have not been muscular in standing up and saying to people, ‘We are a Christian country. We have a Christian constitution, a Judeo-Christian culture. We’ve allowed our schools to be infiltrated. Our prisons, you know, are now perhaps where jihadism is on the march more rapidly than anywhere else. Much of this we've done to ourselves.”

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=GrsBfvug5VA

2 weeks, 2 days ago on 2x Brit Muslims Fight for ISIS Than UK Military, That’s not the Shocking Part

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Wow!

Good Job Loren.  I'm sure this was a distasteful task but something that has to be done to retain the honor, credibility & value in service.

2 weeks, 3 days ago on The Lies and Stolen Valor: Cory Alan Jackson, of Range Time

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@YankeePapa @majrod 

"An unshakable belief that any officer who is branch qualified can be a good adviser to a foreign military is silliness on stilts."

or


"... I am glad for the officers that you met, but the fact is that as the Vietnam War pumped up, officers with no combat experience sometimes sent as advisers... some not even fully qualified in their branch of service... (see ref below) and in too many cases newly minted advisers were required to use translators."

(I took both your comments as promoting the "skills" of advising over the knowledge to be imparted)

vs. my comment, "one can have the most relatable, fluent and culturally
immersed adviser but a finance officer isn’t going to be worth much when it comes to synchronizing artillery fires and movement..."


I may be guilty of a bit of hyperbole.  Maybe we have a different understanding of what the word "remotely" means.  If I had to choose between a non combat arms advisor who was fluent, culturally sensitive and had people skills (Only one of these being quantified in an officer's file) and one who is a combat arms officer to go advise a combat unit I'm going to pick the combat arms guy.


Touchy feely is nice.  One may even die with a smile on one's face (hyperbole again :) but the hard skills might keep one alive.


I believe our biggest difference is appreciating scale.  I can't imagine a system that places the right officer in the right spot every time with no cost to other missions or the organization.  Maybe I'm just not that smart.  Many would agree with that statement  Placing seven divisions worth of advisors in the middle of a war just doesn't lend itself to an interview process.


I can acknowledge the system was/is imperfect but I also understand it's the best we can do.

2 weeks, 4 days ago on Interview with an Iraqi Army Officer

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You should have started off your tirade with a disclaimer stating people should not drink or eat while reading your essay.  It would have saved a lot of shooting one's drink out one's nose or the occasional Hiemlich maneuver applied to an unconscious reader in his cubicle. 


Very Funny!

2 weeks, 4 days ago on Today’s Military: Too Dysfunctional to, uh, Function? An Unscientific Analysis.

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@YankeePapa @majrod 

That was a very interesting reference.The last essay addressed Korea, Vietnam and El Salvador.

For clarification’s sake and so we are on the same sheet of music, “Only in Vietnam did advisers attend formal training courses prior to their assignments.” p 242 and the case that was mentioned where there was no overlap was during the Korean War not Vietnam.Overlap is generally a good thing but not always if one is replacing a poor leader.Often a clean break is a better outcome.

An important quote that addresses our different perspectives, “Interestingly, it is almost impossible to find a comment from an adviser in the three case studies where an adviser felt tactically, technically, or militarily unprepared for his duties—even those duties one or two levels above his rank and experience. It appeared that branch qualification, combined with American self-confidence, met the military requirements faced by most advisers. However, almost to a man, advisers mentioned the challenges posed by linguistic, cultural, and host-nation institutional barriers.” p 243

It’s understandable why the Army would place such a premium on a combat arms background.I don’t deny language, cultural sensitivity and people skills are vitally important to an advisor’s success but one can have the most relatable, fluent and culturally immersed advisor but a finance officer isn’t going to be worth much when it comes to synchronizing artillery fires and movement, mentoring an S-2 intel officer in intelligence preparation of the battlefield or walking a staff through the military decision making process of a battalion staff as it prepares an operations order to enter into a new enemy area of operations.

Using your reference it is of note that it’s almost impossible to find an advisor say his lack of combat experience left him “tactically, technically or militarily unprepared for his duties”.It is unrealistic to believe we can train every advisor on each host nation’s institutional barriers until we have immersed ourselves in the effort and sent a few brave souls into the fray.Learning about those barriers is an OJT type task that the institution must try to capture and teach follow-on contingents and hope things don’t change.Further, gaining language competency is no small task while gaining cultural sensitivity is a much more achievable task.These are not things that can be done quickly.

Finally, this quote should help the casual reader understand the breadth of the challenge in fielding an advisor force and how “hand picking advisors”, establishing training programs and allowing advisor overlap may be supremely difficult if not outright impossible."To fill MACV adviser positions in 1968 required the Army to provide over SEVEN DIVISION equivalents of officers and senior noncommissioned officers."p 240 (emphasis added)FYI, I don’t think we ever had more than seven combat divisions in Vietnam at one time. One simply cannot create seven divisions worth of leadership, limit oneself to combat experienced officers and not effectively strip the majority of that experience out of the combat units you are sending over.So yes, we sent non combat experienced advisors but it was more out of necessity than incompetence.

2 weeks, 4 days ago on Interview with an Iraqi Army Officer

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@YankeePapa @majrod 

I have not disagreed with what you've said.  I have pointed out you address only half of the story.  That approach will lead to the phenomena I've seen here all too often.  BTW, "many" is not "most".

Yes we send advisors with no combat experience.  Do you think that even every special forces soldier has combat experience before the first time he's sent out on a mission?  When we started the current conflict it was a decade after Desert Storm where we sent a fraction of our troops.  I can tell you a combat patch on the eve of the 2003 Iraq and for some time afterwards wasn't the norm and almost non-existent among Captains and Lieutenants.  The time after 2003 had about a tenth of the Army deployed.  It takes time to get everyone combat experience and I believe it's just as important to have a combat vet leading a US Infantry company as training a foreign one.  Even more important than combat experience in a trainer of foreign troops is mindset.  Some of that can be developed with training.  Handpicking is the most effective method but also takes the most time and often strips the best performers from units hurting those units' efforts.

As for the Iraqi Lt's assessment of US training methods,  The Iraqi Army was conducting successful independent operations in '10-'11.  Considering they started from scratch something should be said about US training methods in standing up a foreign Army in a couple of years.


One can access the document you cited for free here:  http://www.history.army.mil/html/books/irregular_warfare/index.html

2 weeks, 4 days ago on Interview with an Iraqi Army Officer

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@YankeePapa @majrod 

Every officer I've met that was an advisor during Vietnam did get culture and language training.

I can say the same for those I've met and known in the current conflict.  Granted a fast and furious course isn't going to be compete against those that have studied for years.

I agree every officer isn't the best advisor but there are many who could.  Our experience in El Salvador demonstrates that at multiple levels (while SF were in the forefront there were an equal if not greater number of conventional types involved both in El Salvador and stateside.  Many seem to forget the first and even the current officers in SF came from the conventional side).

I agree SOF was spread thin but it also for quite a bit of time avoided the FID mission.  The money and glory were in DA. 


My intervention here was to derail the all too often tendency to blame the conventional side for failures and forget there's a double edged sword out there.

The fact is the last trainers left Iraq over two years ago.  What has happened in Iraq isn't a function of whether conventional or SF trained the Iraqis.  A lot changed after we left.  The buying of command positions and blackmail by intelligence officers as related by the Iraqi LT in the article is evidence of that.

2 weeks, 5 days ago on Interview with an Iraqi Army Officer

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Just finished reading the Iraqi LT's interview.  I recommend it but I'd caution anyone at taking it as the definitive account.


I don't have enough information about this LT, his experiences or his judgement.  His perspective seems a bit limited at first glance.


Still a very worthwhile read...

2 weeks, 5 days ago on Interview with an Iraqi Army Officer

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@YankeePapa 

I agree with everything you said except that your base assumption might be wrong and I think you pillory the establishment a bit too harshly or don't address the other side of the coin..

What specifically did US trainers do that was different from the Iraqi approach?  The Iraqi Lieutenant never says.

Was it expecting Iraqi NCO's to be like American ones?  They aren't.  Iraq as do most nations do not have a professional NCO Corps.  In fact most officers in other armies fill what we consider the NCO's role and responsibility.  It's why a lieutenant in another Army wouldn't make a good squad leader in ours.

Did American trainers expect corruption, party affiliation and or religion to take a back seat to a some higher national cause?  An otherwise fine US soldier/NCO/Officer/trainer may just not be equipped to deal with the challenges of training foreign troops.  This isn't necessarily the soldier's fault or even the Army that is being forced to execute the mission.  Ideally, we'd like to hand pick these trainers and/or give the mission to special forces.  Doing both these things in the middle of a fight and when other priorities are competing (e.g. using SOF almost exclusively for DA) are understandably difficult.  We were exceptionally lucky to find Baron Von Stueben who didn't speak English and had some real challenges adapting to "colonial" culture during our own American Revolution.


Did American trainers expect Iraqis to embrace the "task, condition, standard" approach to training and maintain the minimum standards in all these areas vs. checking the block and taking the afternoon off crediting American prowess on our substantial wealth of resources and forgetting the role of plain old hard work?  (Don't underestimate this phenomena, I've seen it play out in several militaries and their approach to training)


Or was it as you believe, American trainers expected Iraqi soldiers to behave like soldiers and patriots.  As well as American Bureacracy thinking all cogs are the same?  I suspect based on the Iraqi Lieutenants conflicting accounts on what is happening in Iraq it's a combination.


I don't disagree with your points about picking the wrong guy for the job but in organizations as large as the Army and Marines, spread over multiple continents interviewing training candidates is easier said than done and don't forget the best often would rather be leading US troops in combat.  Then there's the reality that maybe those best attuned and qualified to train foreign troops gravitate to special forces where that's a primary mission.  Why was the conventional Army and Marines given that mission?


All in all maybe it's no wonder the conventional side had challenges.  Should we have expected differently?  If we tasked SOF to fight a conventional fight and it didn't do well because it is not equipped, trained or focused on that task would we fault them for their mistakes?  Was it the Rangers fault they got chewed up at Cisterna?

 

2 weeks, 5 days ago on Interview with an Iraqi Army Officer

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"there are over 360 political parties in Iraq. We should be loyal to Iraq, not a certain political party."

That approach shouldn't be limited to those that serve.  It's the source of many ills here in the States.


Thanks for the heads up Jack.  Looks like an interesting read.

2 weeks, 5 days ago on Interview with an Iraqi Army Officer

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@Camo_Steve @majrod 

If dissatisfaction were the driving force other anti gov't movements would also be growing than just the radical Islamic groups.

3 weeks, 1 day ago on 2x Brit Muslims Fight for ISIS Than UK Military, That’s not the Shocking Part

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@Camo_Steve 

I either misunderstand you or outright disagree.

I don't see Americans joining ISIS out of frustration with our gov'ts policies.  Joining a "militia" yes, ISIS no.  That is unless you are a Radical Muslim who expected our gov't to do more for Islamic growth and in that case the withdrawal from Iraq, failure to respond to Benghazi,  pending Afghanistan withdrawal etc. would be pleasing to a Radical Muslim.

Now if you are trying to say our incompetence abroad makes us look weak, ineffective and uncoordinated and THAT emboldens those that hate the US, I'd agree wholeheartedly.


Predators target the sick, weak and old first...

3 weeks, 1 day ago on 2x Brit Muslims Fight for ISIS Than UK Military, That’s not the Shocking Part

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@clluelo 

It IS an invasion.

The West, led by the US is doing nothing.

The Russians tested the water at a recent economic meeting that ended a day ago where Putin met with the Ukrainian Pres after MULTIPLE provocations.

It's going to get worse...

The only thing worse than watching a train wreck is watching it while being on the train.

 

3 weeks, 2 days ago on Ukraine detains squad of “lost” Russian paratroopers

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@JohnChristopher1 

I think you've found your niche.

3 weeks, 3 days ago on Taking Down ISIS: Jack Murphy on Sun News

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@LawyerHandle 

The military is a little different.  E.G. I have NEVER heard of military law enforcement use the term "person of interest" which civil authorities use all the time and often question without reading them their rights.

ALL my legal training reinforced in me a need to read a soldier his rights immediately upon suspecting a crime occurred and not to have any conversations without this protection for both parties in place.  (Two semesters of military law at the Academy, the basic and advanced courses and the commander's course that was required before assuming a company command)


I'm sure a General has even more training and even more importantly, a staff to include legal and law enforcement to keep him on track.  If Bergdahl wasn't read his rights, there was a conscious decision to violate standard operating procedure. Those of us with inquiring minds would ask, "Why?"

3 weeks, 4 days ago on Bergdahl planning to leave Army & use GI Bill

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@Waterborne 

The optics are bad for those that are watching and/or searching for info.  The media is not.  Americans simply don't know.  They would if the President was from a different party. 

3 weeks, 4 days ago on What isn’t being asked about the failed Foley rescue?

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