Does the US Army need the British Army in Iraq?

#1
Hi guys (my first post in this forum!)...

I have been talking to a few Americans friends (mostly US Army) online, and this question came up...'Does the US Army need the British Army in Iraq?'

I - of course - pointed out the experience and expertise the British Army has in urban counter-insurency - and this they accepted...

The problem is that I do not feel equipped to answer this fairly on behalf of Service Brits - as I am not a member of the forces myself. Can someone help me make a good answer to this question please?

I realize that the British Army (and other service arms) bring a lot of expertise to Iraq that the US Forces perhaps don't have, but it's the 'technical' bit I really don't know about.

Is there equipment or systems that the British forces have that the US forces don't? Or have we supplied logistics or support to the US Army because of some shortfall in their inventory?

Any comments or assistance to make a good responce would be very gratefull recieved.

And apologies to service persons out there - as I feel a bit ashamed I don't know an answer to this off the top of my head!

Many thanks in advance for any help given.
 

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
I am given to undestand we have various technical stuff that is better than the Yanks as they buy theirs off the shelf so to speak. However not sure it can be talked about in an open forum. but it is related to scary things that make loud noises...:)
 
T

taric

Guest
#3
As long as our blokes are getting to do what they're meant to do not sat around on their arses waiting for "THE OP" that never happens then i don't think it matters if we're needed or not it's just getting the chance to get the rounds down and gob off afterwards that most soldiers are interested in??????
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#6
chrisg46 said:
I am given to undestand we have various technical stuff that is better than the Yanks as they buy theirs off the shelf so to speak. However not sure it can be talked about in an open forum. but it is related to scary things that make loud noises...:)
Regimental Sergeant Majors? :wink:
 
#8
asmallbrownduck said:
ex_sigs said:
Your not press by chance..............
Looks very much like another "one post wonder" digging for a story!


Quack
Thanks for the welcome! ;)

And 'nope' - just discovered the 'arrse' site...

And as for looking for a story - hardly, I just want to do a good job of explaining to my American fiends what a good job the UK forces do!

Of course I could just make stuff up and bluff it - but I thought I would ask people who knew!
 
#14
I believe that British forces do contribute quite a bit, as do Aussies, Polish, Danish, Romanian, El Salvadorian, and all other coalition troops. However, I don't think the press does a good job of representing their contributions.
 
#15
As for technical stuff, that is usually used in support of UK forces only so is not really an issue as far as the Yanks are concerned.

But the bigger question is political. The US Govt truly values that UK contribution. We are second only to the US in troops numbers, thus sending a very strong message. We also, as you say, have a huge amount of counter-insurgency experience and hence why we have a significant level of staff officers, including the Deputy Corps Comd in Baghdad. The yanks lack counter-unsurgency experience, but it is incredible how quickly they are learning.

This starts to take me off thread - a fundamental difference between the Yanks and the Brits is that the Yanks are really supporting their guys and girls in theatre - financially, technically, medically and logisitically. Contrast this with last night Dispatches programme; whether or not Andrew Gilligan has an axe to grind it remains a fact that many soldiers feel unsupported by the Govt. The current Govt has consistently cut the Forces whilst deploying us more than at any time since the 60s. Defence is not seen as a vote winner, but Bush Jnr (irrespective of whether he knows where the Middle East is) has made the War on Terror a fundamental part of his policy and hence Defence gets the money that it needs. All our Govt does apart from deploying poorly supported troops is worry about ID cards.
 
#16
In direct response to your question there's a rather practical issue at stake- ending the multinational contingent would mean the US having to scrape together another Div from somewhere. Some of you chaps might be getting rather fond of the place- I know there are some US personnel on their 3rd or 4th tours already- but I imagine the thought of doing even more would be less than welcome as far as most of you are concerned.

In addition, having the coalition does provide at least a veil of legitimacy to the declared aims of the invasion and occupation- even if from a legal standpoint it is on very shakey gound.

P.S. Don't forget also that NATO troops from outside the US now make up around 50% of the force in Afghanistan.
 
#17
Irish_Rover said:
This starts to take me off thread - a fundamental difference between the Yanks and the Brits is that the Yanks are really supporting their guys and girls in theatre - financially, technically, medically and logisitically.
First off, many thanks for a mature responce to this topic Irish_Rover...

And although this kinda starts to go 'off-topic' it is a very interesting issue.

I'm from Dundee, so I was gutted when - after serving in the most dangerous location in the Iraq theatre - my home regiment, the Black Watch, came home just in time to be 'axed'...

It does make you wonder just what support the government really gives our troops, and how they expect the loyalty of the troops when they can be stabbed in the back like that.

From talking to my US Army friends and going to some of the websites that they have/recommended EVERY website is full of 'Support the Troops' campaigns (many supported by the US government).

From documentaries on the History channel - like 'Shootout' - US soldiers have always been quick to highlight their gratitude to the folks back home from whence they get a lot of support. This is obviously very important for morale. I wish we had such a widespread supportive attitude here in the UK...

(One thing I like on Military.com is that they are advertising a campaign for those popular charity bracelets. These ones are camoflague patterned and are printed with 'support the troops' and such-like. Be nice to have something like that over here, maybe with regimental colours.)

Anyway - thanks for you responce again. It does add something constructive to the topic.
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#18
crabtastic said:
- I know there are some US personnel on their 3rd or 4th tours already-
I've heard this before but, how is this possible? Given that Americans typically serve a one year tour of duty in theatre, as opposed to our 6 months, and that the war in Iraq has just seen its 3rd anniversary, a US serviceman would have to have served continuously there to be just starting his/her 4th tour now.
 
#19
RP578 said:
crabtastic said:
- I know there are some US personnel on their 3rd or 4th tours already-
I've heard this before but, how is this possible? Given that Americans typically serve a one year tour of duty in theatre, as opposed to our 6 months, and that the war in Iraq has just seen its 3rd anniversary, a US serviceman would have to have served continuously there to be just starting his/her 4th tour now.
That was my initial thought, but one Doc in the Baghdad ER documentary last night made a statement that it was his third tour. Mathematically it's easily possible if they are at the start of their 3rd tour. 12months in, 6 months out, 12 in, 6 out then back in.

Maybe 4 is a little excessive on reflection. Perhaps one of our tame colonials can furnish an answer regarding what the rotation periods are like depending on service, branch and MOS?
 
#20
crabtastic said:
RP578 said:
crabtastic said:
- I know there are some US personnel on their 3rd or 4th tours already-
I've heard this before but, how is this possible? Given that Americans typically serve a one year tour of duty in theatre, as opposed to our 6 months, and that the war in Iraq has just seen its 3rd anniversary, a US serviceman would have to have served continuously there to be just starting his/her 4th tour now.
That was my initial thought, but one Doc in the Baghdad ER documentary last night made a statement that it was his third tour. Mathematically it's easily possible if they are at the start of their 3rd tour. 12months in, 6 months out, 12 in, 6 out then back in.

Maybe 4 is a little excessive on reflection. Perhaps one of our tame colonials can furnish an answer regarding what the rotation periods are like depending on service, branch and MOS?
Time spent on OIF and OEF began well before the war per se kicked off. Notwithstanding frozen DEROS, stoploss and the like, there are still a fair number of our colonial chums who deploy for less than 12 months - one of my buddies has two nine monthers under his belt in the last three years and is already set up for another. Aside: whilst the tremendouds support from the wider part of American society makes the troops feel wanted/respected/worthy/all the other good things, the op intensity and duration of ops is really hitting them hard.)
 

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