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"Fatigue cripples US army in Iraq"

#2
General Colin Powell, the former US Secretary of State - have been insisting for months now: that the US army is 'about broken'. Only a third of the regular army's brigades now qualify as combat-ready. Officers educated at the elite West Point academy are leaving at a rate not seen in 30 years, with the consequence that the US army has a shortfall of 3,000 commissioned officers - and the problem is expected to worsen.

And it is not only the soldiers that are worn out. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have led to the destruction, or wearing out, of 40 per cent of the US army's equipment, totalling at a recent count $212bn (£105bn).
 
#3
You're right - very interesting.

Also worrying; if one of the biggest and the most technologically advanced Army in the world is breathing out it's ARRSE, what hope have we got?

The parallels with Vietnam are spooky; an unpopular and, for all intents and purposes, unwinnable war. Massive casuality rates. A Government out of touch with reality. And now talk of bringing back the Draft(although I still don't see that happening).

The main differance, of course, is that we were not involved in Vietnam. Here, we are in the same position as the Septics - up to our necks in sh1te.
 
#5
eveyuk said:
The draft?

I couldn't imagine that happening in my lifetime.
I doubt anyone seriously believes it's on the cards, mate. It would be expensive - new recruits have to be equipped, trained, paid and fed - and, more importantly, political suicide.

It would only happen if Bush believed God had told him to do it!

Oh, hang on... 8O
 
#6
When is the chimp ending his term? Has an election date been given?

I wonder what the next president will do. A broken military, public opinion etc etc
 
#7
eveyuk said:
When is the chimp ending his term? Has an election date been given?

I wonder what the next president will do. A broken military, public opinion etc etc
The Chimp is potentially the most dangerous; he does'nt have to worry about re-election, so he may decide to go out with a bang.

God help us...
 
#9
eveyuk said:
That would be an Iran centred bang I presume.
FFS, be careful what you Post! No Such Agency is probably reading this and I don't want the Shrub to get any more "good" ideas!
 
#10
It tells us one thing about the two wars folks.No matter how well armed your vast armies are and how well equipt they are you will simply not beat a determined freedom fight either in Iraq or Afghanistan.The Afghans have beaten the might of the Russian/Soviet army and are about to beat the might of the American/British armies as well.These freedom fighters are being supplied by either Russia, China, Korea or Iran and that is without aircraft being involved as well.So if the Americans have not learned anything from Vietnam then their army will leave just like they did back in the seventies beaten and humiliated.
 
#11
But the exhaustion of the US army emerges most powerfully in the details of these soldiers' frayed and worn-out lives. Everywhere you go you hear the same complaints: soldiers talk about divorces, or problems with the girlfriends that they don't see, or about the children who have been born and who are growing up largely without them.
Given the circumstances what I find surprising is how high US Army morale has remained. A lot of guys are now on their third long tour in a peculiarly frustrating war. To support "The Surge" the Army tours are now stretched to fifteen months and there's the nagging worry they'll bt extended. That is a long time for a young man to be away from the wife and kids.

CFR had this:
But the overstretching of the U.S. military has had a negative effect on troops’ mental health, recent polls show. According to a May 2007 Pentagon-commissioned study, 45 percent of the junior-enlisted Army soldiers overall rated unit morale as low or very low, while one in five soldiers suffers from a mental health disorder like depression or anxiety. More than half of the soldiers surveyed are concerned by exceedingly long tours—which in April were extended from twelve to fifteen months (Marines’ tours remain unaffected).
...
And the USMC is unsurprisingly in much better shape because of it.
Despite the gloomy outlook, military experts point to one bright spot: the U.S. Marine Corps. Attitudes among Marines, despite the draining support for the war, remain on average more positive than other military branches. Marines who have deployed twice to Iraq are more likely to reenlist than those who have served only once. Tony Perry of the Los Angeles Times, who has been embedded five times in Iraq, attributes the Marines’ pro-war sentiment to their institutional culture, which is generally more prone to optimism. Plus, many of its members are sons or daughters of other Marines. “Young men join the Marines with the expectation—many even with the fervent hope—that they will deploy quickly to a war zone,” Perry writes. “That’s not true for, say, the National Guard, and that kind of motivation doesn’t waver with public opinion polls.”
A tour rotation of six months makes a hell of a difference.
 
#12
alib said:
But the exhaustion of the US army emerges most powerfully in the details of these soldiers' frayed and worn-out lives. Everywhere you go you hear the same complaints: soldiers talk about divorces, or problems with the girlfriends that they don't see, or about the children who have been born and who are growing up largely without them.
Given the circumstances what I find surprising is how high US Army morale has remained. A lot of guys are now on their third long tour in a peculiarly frustrating war. To support "The Surge" the Army tours are now stretched to fifteen months and there's the nagging worry they'll bt extended. That is a long time for a young man to be away from the wife and kids.

CFR had this:
But the overstretching of the U.S. military has had a negative effect on troops’ mental health, recent polls show. According to a May 2007 Pentagon-commissioned study, 45 percent of the junior-enlisted Army soldiers overall rated unit morale as low or very low, while one in five soldiers suffers from a mental health disorder like depression or anxiety. More than half of the soldiers surveyed are concerned by exceedingly long tours—which in April were extended from twelve to fifteen months (Marines’ tours remain unaffected).
...
And the USMC is unsurprisingly in much better shape because of it.
Despite the gloomy outlook, military experts point to one bright spot: the U.S. Marine Corps. Attitudes among Marines, despite the draining support for the war, remain on average more positive than other military branches. Marines who have deployed twice to Iraq are more likely to reenlist than those who have served only once. Tony Perry of the Los Angeles Times, who has been embedded five times in Iraq, attributes the Marines’ pro-war sentiment to their institutional culture, which is generally more prone to optimism. Plus, many of its members are sons or daughters of other Marines. “Young men join the Marines with the expectation—many even with the fervent hope—that they will deploy quickly to a war zone,” Perry writes. “That’s not true for, say, the National Guard, and that kind of motivation doesn’t waver with public opinion polls.”
A tour rotation of six months makes a hell of a difference.
You see, it's information like this that irritates me - the MoD just issued a DIN that says service men and women are not allowed to speak about defence related issues in public.

Yet the Afghanis and Iraqis who are fighting get to read publications such as the one quoted above - issued by UK MoD or US DoD that discuss in detail the effects of mobilisation and how that affects personnel.

Documents such as this tell the Afghanis and Iraqis (and anyone else who might want to kick off) where to apply pressure. Quite similar to the way the Soviets were forced out of Afghanistan and the USA from Vietnam.

Yet Pte Tommy Atkins posting here is a danger to National Security.

I love it when the Government does all my grown up thinking for me.
 
#13
TartanJock said:
It tells us one thing about the two wars folks.No matter how well armed your vast armies are and how well equipt they are you will simply not beat a determined freedom fight either in Iraq or Afghanistan.The Afghans have beaten the might of the Russian/Soviet army and are about to beat the might of the American/British armies as well.These freedom fighters are being supplied by either Russia, China, Korea or Iran and that is without aircraft being involved as well.So if the Americans have not learned anything from Vietnam then their army will leave just like they did back in the seventies beaten and humiliated.
Agree with most of what you have Posted - except your use of the term "freedom fighters". They are terrorist scum. End of.

Unfortunately, your conclusion that the British and American armies are on a hiding to nothing is probably totally correct. Although this is the fault of our political leaders, not the guys on the ground.
 
#14
[quote="Mr_Relaxed] According to a May 2007 Pentagon-commissioned study, 45 percent of the junior-enlisted Army soldiers overall rated unit morale as low or very low, while one in five soldiers suffers from a mental health disorder like depression or anxiety. More than half of the soldiers surveyed are concerned by exceedingly long tours—which in April were extended from twelve to fifteen months (Marines’ tours remain unaffected)
...[/quote]

Strangely enough this is, quite literally, Catch 22 as described by Joseph Heller. You'd have to be insane not to be anxious and/or depressed at the thought of your third 15 month tour with the possibility of even more to come.
 
#15
Solution:

Get fitter and desist from invading sovereign nations.

PS. Ram home to your ludicrous and fatuous politicians that 'war' is not quite like that portrayed in Hollywood.

PPS. Think about the lessons learned in Vietnam.

PPPS. Adopt a policy an isolationist foreign policy - quickly!
 
#16
TartanJock said

It tells us one thing about the two wars folks.No matter how well armed your vast armies are and how well equipt they are you will simply not beat a determined freedom fight either in Iraq or Afghanistan.The Afghans have beaten the might of the Russian/Soviet army and are about to beat the might of the American/British armies as well.These freedom fighters are being supplied by either Russia, China, Korea or Iran and that is without aircraft being involved as well.So if the Americans have not learned anything from Vietnam then their army will leave just like they did back in the seventies beaten and humiliated.

I don't see how you can call the Taliban, "freedom fighters", or AlQuaeda, or Ba'athists either. In both Afghanistan and Iraq we started off with a minority of enemies and a majority of semi-hostile neutrals. Those situations become unwinnable (barring genocide or zillions of soldiers) only when mistakes push the normal people out of neutrality and onto the side of the nutters (imo). I don't think that has happened in Afghanistan yet. Though given the recent track record of our leaders they may yet find a way. Also not killing civilians helps a lot with the hearts and minds thing.

The Soviets were fighting the bulk of the population and not just a minority of nutters.

I don't think the americans were beaten militarily in Vietnam anymore. I used to because that is what all the Hollywood films said. They might have been eventually though.
 
#17
Isquared said:

PPPS. Adopt a policy an isolationist foreign policy - quickly!
Al Quaeda wants the western gubmints to become isolationist and stop supporting anti-fundie governments in the Islamic world as they think that will make it easier to knock those governments over.

Prob better if as much of the anti-fundie activity as possible is conducted by small groups of shady characters in the middle of the night rather than big armies though.
 
#18
Prob better if as much of the anti-fundie activity as possible is conducted by small groups of shady characters in the middle of the night rather than big armies though.
too bloody true mate, even if you meant it ironically, (Guerrilla tactics are based on intelligence, ambush, deception, sabotage, and espionage, undermining an authority through long, low-intensity confrontation. It can be quite successful against an unpopular foreign or local regime, wikipedia), and that situation requires a new sort of soldiery, and attitudes. targeted assasinations might be a start. :wink:
 
#19
low-profile said

too bloody true mate, even if you meant it ironically, (Guerrilla tactics are based on intelligence, ambush, deception, sabotage, and espionage, undermining an authority through long, low-intensity confrontation. It can be quite successful against an unpopular foreign or local regime, wikipedia), and that situation requires a new sort of soldiery, and attitudes. targeted assasinations might be a start.
Yeah, I was being serious really :) Seems to me our politicos aren't clever enough for nation-building and it's hard to see civilian casualties not getting too high long-term if the people shooting at our soldiers make a point of hanging out in kid's playgrounds and hospitals. So hit-and-run invasions and raids plus lots of dodgy stuff in alleys seems like the only option to me. (No expert though.)
 

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