Problem solving the American way...

Apologies if this has already been posted but a quick check would prove otherwise...

This seems a totally absurd way of dealing with this situation!!

Taken from

US air strike hits Iraqi family

Several members of the same family, including women and children, have been killed in a US air strike that destroyed their home in northern Iraq.
There was confusion over the number of casualties, but local authorities in the town of Beiji, north of Tikrit, have confirmed at least six dead.
US forces said they acted after seeing three men suspected of planting a roadside bomb enter the house.
The raid has prompted anger among some local political leaders.
US military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Barry Johnson said the men, who ran into the house after digging a hole, were assesed as a threat to civilians and military forces.
"An unmanned aerial vehicle... observed the would-be attackers as they dug a hole following the common pattern of roadside bomb emplacement," he told the AFP news agency.
"The individuals left the road site and were followed from the air to a nearby building. Coalition forces employed precision guided munitions on the structure."
But he did not confirm the number of casualties or whether a roadside bomb has been found.
Local police chief Colonel Sufyan Mustafa said he believed there were no anti-US insurgents present in the house.
"Even if there had been, why didn't they surround the area and detain the terrorists instead?," he told the Reuters news agency.
Ghadban Nahd Hassan, 56, told AFP that 14 members of his family had been in the house when it was it bombed.
"I was with some friends in a small shop 100m away from the house when I heard the bombing at around 2130 (1830 GMT)," he said.
"I rushed over to see. My house was destroyed and there was smoke everywhere."
So far, the bodies of a nine-year-old boy, an 11-year-old girl, three women and three men have been found in the rubble, police said.
US forces frequently use air strikes in their battle against Iraqi insurgents, in an effort to minimise US casualties.
A local official of the biggest Sunni Arab political group, the Iraqi Islamic Party, called for demonstrations.
"This is a historic crime and another catastrophe for the people of Baiji," he told Reuters.
"If there were gunmen or criminals in that house, is it right to blow up the whole family?"
Hussein al-Falluji, a lawyer and a national leader of the Sunni-dominated Iraqi Accordance Front, said: "Once again the occupiers have shown their barbarism. They never learn from their mistakes... People's resentment is increasing."
sadly, and i mean truly sadly, this doesnt suprise me at all. what level will we reach next? on one hand this is a comment on military doctrine and strategy - and lets be fair, its not too different to napalming vietnamese villages - but surely its a reflection on society too.
Now why didn't they just JDAM Uday and Qusay off the face of the planet, instead of having an 8 hour gun battle where they were allowed to die uncommon well?

Was there a reason they didn't surround the house, offer the "Come out or else" lift the badmashes and get some intel off them?

Or is this just fatigue with the general situation , "Oh fugg it , less paperwork"?
Absolutely disgusting-surely constituting a war crime? And we are allied with these people. No wonder most of the world willingly burns the US flag.
Force protection is key to the Americans and they will not risk soldiers lives when technology used at stand-off distance can be employed.

The limitations of this approach are evident but the Americans just don't seem to understand that the alternative, while risky to the individuals executing it, is more consistent with COIN principles and the 'hearts and minds' approach.
I think the problem is that the Yanks do understand Hearts and Minds, but have realised that the death of a US serviceman is far more damaging at home politically than the collateral damage of a few innocents. They sincerely believe that their 'shock and awe' tactics are the answer to any scenario. The sickening moral twist put on US actions by George Dubbya is sickeningly exposed by this kind of result.
After all who cares if an 11 year old and a 9 year old died? They weren't from the good 'ole US of A were they?
There will be a lot more of this, the Washington Post quoted Rumsfeld as saying that as they drawdown troops prior to the November Congressional elections airpower will be replacing boots on the ground in keeping with his 'doctrine'
wont risk American blood for advatages in hearts and minds
I accept that is paraphrased.

Surely the point made earlier was that when Uday and Qusay were holed up in a house at the start of the war efforts were made to get them out using normal infatry tactics - though they killd them and lost any int. they might have had.

Why is this practice not seen now? are there any essays in curculation as to why this change in attitude has now occured? it isnt the same shock and ae as was used if Afghanistan because earlier events (Uday and Qusay) show this hasnt always been the case?

At the risk of jumping on a band wagon does this thread not tie closely to the "nazi tactics" thread from a few weeks ago?
Falluja, Tal Afar, etc, are all good examples of the US grunt getting 'up close and personal' with the insurgents but airpower could not achieve that mission, hence the reliance on infantry. When airpower can be used the US will use it for force protection reasons. This cultural thinking is reflected in US ROE and in their definition of hostile intent, both giving US forces huge latitude to use lethal force when we could not. This becomes ingrained in their culture and the reflex response is nearly always to use lethal force. Finally, US forces still see the insurgency as a war and - making arrests and securing evidence are inconsistent with this approach.
That wasn't the question. Is it right?
You mean as a theological question? Then no, as a strategic question; no, as a tactical question, possibly yes
A lot of us at the pointy end are aware of the problem, but are prohibited from acting in a manner pursuant to it. Heaven help any officer or NCO who un-necessarily puts a man at risk.

Having been the lowliest of the low as a soldier, I can't adress tactics. I can however address politics. It would be political suicide to employ soldiers in the manner suggested here. The American public will not stand for it. Bringing democracy to Achmed is all fine and good but keep the casualties down, please.
Ok, now here is the dreadful paradox , which I got thinking about after my umpteenth cup of coffee.

Iraq is emerging as a new democracy. The Washington spin machine is glowing red hot in the dark, convincing us and the Iraqis that things are returning to normal. High powered press manipulators are ensuring that good news abounds.

A survey reveals that the Iraqi man in the street has hope for the future, and crime and insurgency are down. Well they may not be, but the information apparatus is geared to reporting that.

So, things are reported as returning to normal, and then someone drops a very large bomb on what appears to be an innocent family.

Now the average Iraqi is saying , "But things are returning to normal, I can see this with my own eyes, why are the Americans still dropping bombs and killing innocents? Why is there still this level of retribution? They are doing this because they just want to kill Iraqis"

Etc etc. Now you and I know this isn't the case , but the good news machine has made a rod for it's own back. You can guarantee that the other side, and even those who don't support insurgency are thinking "Get out now , before we get the arrse"

I can see a campaign of non-co-operation and passive resistance starting amongst ordinary Iraqis , never mind the insurgents.

Or maybe I'm just being pessimistic.


Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Big boys rules, we all accept that in military ops there may be casulties, own, nuetral and enemy. We seek to minimise them whilst achieving the mission.

Now I understand why the US soldier on the ground who is being shot at is willing to bring down the largest ordnace he can in the general direction of where the shooting is coming from. I understand why his boss is willing to authorise said ordnace in order to supports his bloke.

But this is a hearts and minds op. Its a PsyOps war and collateral casualties are counter productive. (Quite apart from the sheer immorality of killing people if you don't have to) I believe in the aims of this Op. Iraq will be a much better place for the Iraqis if we succeed. It will also be a lot safer for us too.

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