Newsweek article the US Army in Iraq.

There is a fascinating article in Newsweek about how the US Army officer corps is adapting to counterinsurgency operations in Iraq by engaging with local players.
One intersting point is that unlike Vietnam, where soldiers would on average do one tour of duty, in both Afghanistan and Iraq guys are going back time after time, and in doing so preserving and building on their experience of the place.

American officers learned very similar lessons in battling the Viet Cong. But much of that knowledge was simply lost. "It's said we fought that war nine times, a year at a time," says Petraeus, noting that because they had been drafted rather than volunteered, many combat-hardened troops left the Army as soon as their yearlong tours in Vietnam were up. By contrast, with the Army stretched thin and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan dragging on, soldiers like Wright find themselves heading back into the fight for a second (or third or fourth) tour. "They have a level of experience that I don't think our Army has had at that rank certainly since Vietnam, and maybe not even then," says Petraeus.


Book Reviewer
The bloke has his head screwed on - and it's a FAR better way of doing things in order to get the right result, even if it is morally dubious. The end justifies the means.
this is a double edged sword. On the one hand the O's and NCO's are gaining and retaining experiences, yet in doing so they are having to do more tours and longer rotations in the sandbox which is resulting in many leaving due to the stress and burden it places on their families.

Similar threads

Latest Threads