Special Forces - Special uniforms?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by OldRedCap, Jan 2, 2005.

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  1. This from the ASPALS page
    I suppose the cynical answer is to knock up a suit of civilian pattern clothes and then stick an army label in it.
  2. Geneva Conventions dictate that to be seen as a lawful combatant you are required to be easiy recognisable as such and operate under a standard uniform, it is illegal to wear the enemies uniform and totally forbidden to use civillian clothing as cover, this will extend to Special Forces too.

    According to the conventions the post above is describing perfidy. But how many of our enemies follow the rules?
  3. Well as most of our current enemys are not serving with any recognised military units and are terrorist I would say very few.

    Therefore we are not required to act within the confines of the geneva convention as it is a terrorist threat and should be covered under some other convention. Otherwise we have been contravening it since the 60's in N.I.

    D.D. :roll:
  4. The Geneva Convetions are recognised as and when it suits, by everyone involved in armed combat. Equally they are ignored by everyone when they are inconvenient.
  5. What's the point in occupying the moral high ground if it means losing a moral war?
  6. Agreed but if we don't follow the convention then we are no better than those we are trying to defeat. There are of course times when this doesn't work - for example the use of the Red Cross, if it is misused (for example launching attacks from hospitals or ambulances) then we are totally within our rights to attack and destoy them if necessary, this is allowed under the conventions and makes perfect sense.

    We all sign up to the Geneva Convention when we put on the British Uniform and we should work as hard as we can to abide by them. That's my opinion anyway.
  7. I think the fact that we are a liberal democracy means that we ARE better than those we are trying to defeat. If they break the rules then so should we. If we had stuck to the rules we would have lost WW2 for a start. Would that have helped civilisation and made us all better people because we had clung to the moral high ground? I think not.

    As an aside, when was the last time two modern liberal democracies went to war with each other?
  8. The Geneva Convention has saved untold lives in many wars, and should never be cast aside for that very reason. However, it was written in a time when the type and scope of current operations was beyond imagination.

    There are parts of it, that should never be crossed, ie hospitals and ambulances, but in these modern conflicts the rules are generally only applied by one side, ie the actual field armies. In Bosnia, Kosovo, Afganistan and now in Iraq we are up against terrorists, not armies. And they generally take our rules and use them against us.

    I believe in Mogadishu, Somalia, once it became known that the yanks would not shoot unarmed civialians, especially women and children, they would form shields of unarmed civialians around snipers. This left the yanks in a bit of difficult predicament. You can't kill the sniper without harming the unarmed "innocents" around him.

    The SF in afganistan are up against terrorists, therefore if they wear civialian uniform then I can't see this as a problem. We have, as someone pointed out, carried out Ops in civialians before against terrorists, not to mention the SOE ops of World War Two for example. The fighters we are up against in Afganistan should not be grouped alongside a standing army. They break every rule in the book anyway, so do they lose the protection of the conventions?

    In the eye of the media and of the public we will always be damned for doing it one way and damned if we do it another. Although I strongly disagree with Awol!!! We should not discard our standards, rules and essentially morals just on a whim. We should always be erring on the side of good and proper, cheesy and lame definition I know, rather than lowering ourselves to others standards. In this way we can look back on our actions with pride, not shame.
  9. chimera

    chimera LE Moderator

    Trail Boots
    Rohan trousers
    polo shirt
    sand coloured 'fishing vest'
    black and sand check shemagh
    wrap around Oakleys

    No No ... I am REALLY not in the CIA.........
  10. Irrespective of who the enemy are, whether we are engaged in "war" or "offensive operations", surely we should have the right to use whatever tactics the operational environment dictate to protect our guys, and aid them in their task.

    Granted, you can't make an omlette without breaking eggs, but it is preferable to break as many enemy eggs as possible whilst lining our own basket with a thick layer of Kevlar?

    IMHO, those who engage in terrorism should be re-classified outside of the human race, to ensure that they cannot claim their "Human Rights". As I see it, they lose all rights when they engage in terrorism...
  11. IMHO if the Terrorists treated captured soldiers under the rights of the Geneva convention, then yes SF should wear uniform.
    Whats the chances of that happening.

  12. chimera

    chimera LE Moderator

    The point here is that operating in civilian clothes is fine - even if just to make movement easier - after all we all travelled around in NI in civvies on simple admin moves etc. The problem comes if military operators pretend to be NGOs i.e. assume the emblems and status of aid workers such as ICRC or MSF in order to gain a degree of protection from being 'neutral' (not that that has stopped those organisations losing people either).
  13. I think he's got it!
  14. Afraid I'm not fully up to speed on all the legality of this and other subtle points.

    Couldn't the NGO's fly/wear/display an emblem that was recognised as neutral? I'm sure there are some non specific emblems such as Civil Defence and similar or perhaps they could use the red cross/crescent. Besides I'm pretty sure they don't carry arms. That should be a big giveaway to many, and the presence of women amongst them.

    Feel it wouldn't matter anyway, the OPFOR in many conflicts regard NGOs as part of the "invading" forces anyway so it doesn't matter if we wear uniform or not.

    In these operations there is no middle ground for NGO's to operate on. The mind set of the OPFOR tends to be if you are not with us, you are against us.

    chimera wrote
    [/quote]The problem comes if military operators pretend to be NGOs i.e. assume the emblems and status of aid workers such as ICRC or MSF in order to gain a degree of protection from being 'neutral'
  15. 307

    307 War Hero

    When you start restricting the sneakys, that's when they lose their worth, these lads are hardcore, they do what they need to to get the job done, as long as they keep getting the jbo done, they could dress up in clown outfits for all I care.