Political corectness in this war

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by lilwolf, Feb 20, 2007.

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  1. Now perhaps I am going to get skinned here by some of you gentlemen, but being a combat veteran and having served a long 28 years in the army, and being an american.... I am going to get it here but that is okay

    My question is as follows and Ireally value your opinions here.

    Do any of you think that as long as the allied forces like the UK and the USA and all other are following the Geneva convention that we are getting our butts kicked?
    NEXT: If the radical element is not following the ROE and geneva as we all have to why should we..

    My personal opinion is this...take off the gloves and end this... compicated yes, but not impossible. I have been reading that many of the allied generals in WW2 just did what was needed and be damned with the result... I am not advocating here the killing of innocent people with intent, but basically turn the dogs of war loose and get it done so our men and women can come home to the welcome they truly deserve.

    Fire away gentlemen... what say you?
     
  2. We sailed happily into this situation knowing what the RoE (at least, our guys did) were and what the GC and other agreements said. We were happy to accept those controls. Now it has gone a bit tits up, we want to back off and resort to an all out, no holds barred, battle. I say that makes us little better than the guy we wanted to regime change or whatever motive we had.
    That is not to say that there is not a need for a better understanding of what war really is. The RoE need to be realistic and not framed with a view to restricting the man on the front line from doing anything effective in dealing with insurgents in plain clothes. The RoE should not be restricted, OPSEC or whatever. Make sure all understand that if the fig 11 does this, shooter will do that. Then it is down to them. Otherwise, the troops will have to keep on taking the hits until some political resolution is reached. I do not see a great deal of political nous amongst the factions engaged against us in Iraq.
     
  3. And then the difference between "us" and "them" would be?

    Like it or not, it's been a generally accepted fact that there are limits to what you should do in war that go all the way back to Greco-Roman times, through the earlier Christian teachings and all the way up to Clausewitz and, yes, the Geneva Conventions.

    The reason for this is fairly simple, it keeps a lid on things. Why is that important? Well, once again, it's fairly simple, if you're seen to be playing by the rules things tend to get less personal, and then the people on the other side and when the people on the sidelines see that it's business, not personal, it is going to be easier to establish and maintain a peace. Furthermore, it's going to be damn nigh impossible to maintain a peace without it, because no matter how "gung ho" you are, it's just simply impractical to kill everybody. It's expensive, time consuming and most importantly, other people tend to rise to take their place- thus perpetuating the war. Ultimately you want to win the war- or else why would you be fighting it? After the war comes the cooption of the vanquished side, which is a lot easier to do if they don't hate your guts.

    It might seem inconvenient and not exactly expedient to you right now, but in the long run it's a good idea. If an idea has stuck around, has been generally recognised in one form or another and been refined for 2,500 years, then the chances are it's a good thing.
     

  4. Understood...our troops went into this mess nkowing what was allowed and expected, but almost daily we hear some political hack saying the radical elements here are adjusting and adapting... I think the ROE are entirely to restrictive to the soldiers on the line and they should be allowed to fight as they all have been trained...with precision..

    The hits they all take are all caused by the so called leaders of our nations and in the end we (soldiers) are the ones paying for it...

    I can understand and accept certain restraint but not to the point where troops have to ask permission to go after the enemy and then only to be told no it is a religious holiday or not now they are in daily prayer... that is not a way to fight a war with the PC involved.
     
  5. what he said
     
  6. But lilwolf, war is not an act in itself. It is part of a larger political process and if one's actions in one step of that process prevent one from being able to accomplish the steps that follow and achieve your broader objective (in this particular case a peaceful Iraq/Afghanistan/Middle East which is favourably disposed to the interests of the United States and her allies), then the war is for nothing.
     

  7. No sir, I am not talking about killing everybody or everything... I am talking about going after their soldiers in the field as well as their command structure and take the gloves off to locate them by what ever means and hunt them down.. limiting collateral damage is essential here, but hunt them down...not as expensive as it would seem on the surface..

    My point is that why play by the rules if your enemy is not?
     
  8. A mistaken assumption at the core of your suggestion is that 'this' can be solved purely by force. There is no solution for Iraq that involves solely killing more people - insurgencies are not destroyed by this; only stoked. Leave your WW2 analogies well behind - think instead, perhaps, of Vietnam where the gloves were taken well off, but the aim was not achieved. Or Israel, or Chechnya. Getting it done is about providing long term security and stability to allow Iraq to develop over, perhaps, 10 years (as long as it has taken on the Balkans or did in Lebanon), not shooting a load of minor players and bugging out for medals, only for them to be replaced by more, even angrier, players - who might come and find you outside of Iraq. That said, if there is no stomach for the long term, getting out might be the best option - but I don't think it needs a burst of violence first.
     
  9. Its not a conventional war, in that it is two lines of combatants facing off, there is the civilian population that insurgents are integrated with and use for 'camoflage' in the case of Iraq.

    In Afghan it is more like conventional warfare but it is difficult to see were greater results could be acheived by undertaking actions outlawed by the Geneva convention.

    The difference in a softly softly approach can be seen in Iraq, were Britain adopts a hearts and minds campaign where as America appears to frown on such soft action. We British have learnt our lesson through 30 years of Northern Ireland and have shown this approach works better than the alternative.
     
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  12. Soviets used to attack the mujahideen at prayer time on purpose

    (still lost the war though)

    I don't understand what you mean by "taking the gloves off". it's always a balance between tactical aims and wider hearts-and-minds strategy. you mentioned not attacking on religious holidays or prayer times - any other examples? looser RoE?
     
  13. Well, to use the the examples you listed- not going after them while they're at prayer, during a religious holiday etc.

    Call it political correctness if you wish, but that's the norm of their society. It's much like the famous Christmas cease fires of WWI, it was understood that you don't violate that ceasefire because of the outrage it would cause. Start p1ssing regular people off and they're going to start fighting against you too. Remember, the US and coalitions are foreigner and from the start are at a disadvantage. The insurgents are people that CIVPOP know- they live with them, grew up with them, they worked with them, they are members of their families and while they may not necessarily agree with the course of action they're taking, they will at least understand where they're coming from. Juxtapose that with the image 140,000 Americans showing up to bomb their cities, who have no idea of local language, culture or history, looking like Robocop and with their leaders lecturing CIVPOP about things that they have no concept of. You guys have an uphill battle as soon as you get there to win hearts and minds.

    As for soldiers having to seek permission before engaging, I think it might be more useful to use the analogy of the Godfather movies rather than, say, Patton. At the end of the day, the guys you are fighting are not soldiers and yet are not common criminals. However, they are representatives of organizations competing for power and influence in a very complex political situation that have to be dealt with at the political level- if not by the US directly, then by the Iraqi/Afghani "governments". In that situation the powers at be are going to make damn sure that they keep you on a tight leash to make sure you and your friends do not do anything that throws things out of political balance at crucial times.

    It's a gigantic pain in the ass, to be sure, but it is a necessity and an unavoidable part of guerilla warfare. There will be times when soldiers will be hung out to dry, but that is the job of their political masters to decide and everybody knows that at some level when they sign up. Henry Kissinger once said that military men are "dumb, stupid animals" to be used as pawns for foreign policy, and like like it or not, that's the same general attitude. Personally, I'd protest the "dumb, stupid animals" part (although, to be fair, Kissinger- A German born Jew- was a counter-intelligence officer in the US Army in Germany during WWII and the early days of the occupation) but you can't really argue with the pawn statement.
     
  14. I do find the Iran thing quite disconcerting. I also don't trust the Russians as they've alwasy been a bunch of c*nts and the Chinese one step ahead of them (the secretive little people that they are).

    As my dear old Grandma used to say...."Never trust a Sov. They're all c*nts and we should have went for them in '45 just after the Germans were put out of action" I won't say what she said about the Chinese.

    Joking aside, I'm hoping that the Israeli boredom threshold can hold out, much as I like them and support everything they have ever done in the Middle East.
     

  15. Yes loosen the rules and allow the soldiers to fight now that they are there in the middle...I just think that the ROE is to restrictive in nature.
    Taking the gloves off and if needed go bare knuckle with the bad guys... we play the game by the rules and they are jus taking us apart... why not reverse the rules