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UK officer slams US Iraq tactics

#3
Brig Aylwin-Foster’s far reaching operational experience (1 tour of Belfast) qualifies him extensively to pass comment on the US forces. As a professional desk jockey perhaps he should look at our failings before criticising others.
 
#4
FNUSNU said:
A senior British Army officer has sparked indignation in the US with a scathing article criticising the US Army's performance in Iraq.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4603136.stm
Such a popular theme!

http://www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn2/Forums/viewtopic/t=29591.html

http://www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn2/Forums/viewtopic/t=29520.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/10/AR2006011001456.html

"I think he's an insufferable British snob," said Col. Kevin Benson, commander of the Army's elite School of Advanced Military Studies
 
#5
FACWIT said:
Brig Aylwin-Foster’s far reaching operational experience (1 tour of Belfast) qualifies him extensively to pass comment on the US forces. As a professional desk jockey perhaps he should look at our failings before criticising others.
Fair point I suppose. Saying that, my primary experience of the Iraq imbroglio comes from Sky News and even I can see that the US army is making a bit of a hash of things.

Message to US army senior officers: sticking your fingers in your ears and going "NAHNAHNAHNAHNAHNAHNAH" will not change your casualty figures nor stabilize the insurgency. I will now return to my remote control, armchair and cup of tea, feel free to flame on.
 
#6
FACWIT said:
Brig Aylwin-Foster’s far reaching operational experience (1 tour of Belfast) qualifies him extensively to pass comment on the US forces. As a professional desk jockey perhaps he should look at our failings before criticising others.
Look at his last post

The British officer - who was commander of a programme to train the Iraqi military - says he wrote the article with the intent to "be helpful to an institution I greatly respect".
I think he has ever so slightly more experience on the goings on in Iraq than you credit him with, and thus he has every right to criticise...
 
#9
And the Army's can-do spirit, he wrote, encouraged a "damaging optimism" that interfered with realistic assessments of the situation in Iraq.

"Such an ethos is unhelpful if it discourages junior commanders from reporting unwelcome news up the chain of command,"
Against
"I think he's an insufferable British snob,"
(Benson) and
I think he's overstating the case
(Fontenot).

Surely that's just evidencing A-F's comments? Don't the Spams have any concept?
 
#11
Brig Aylwin-Foster says the American army's laudable "can-do" approach paradoxically led to another trait, namely "damaging optimism".

That same "can do" is why we British still speak English and not German.However, I do commend him on his "victorious pessimism"approach.

Moreover, his central theme is that US military commanders have failed to train and educate their soldiers in the art of counter-insurgency operations and the need to cultivate the "hearts and minds" of the local population.

Just because you do not see it on tv, why are all those damn Iraqi kids flocking around American troops? Despite the press reports, they are getting regular reports from locals of where the insurgents are hiding.


While US officers in Iraq criticised their allies for being too reluctant to use force, their strategy was "to kill or capture all terrorists and insurgents: they saw military destruction of the enemy as a strategic goal in its own right". In short, the brigadier says, "the US army has developed over time a singular focus on conventional warfare, of a particularly swift and violent kind".

D'UH! What a novel concept! It makes one wonder what they learn at Staff College?

Such an unsophisticated approach, ingrained in American military doctrine, is counter-productive, exacerbating the task the US faced by alienating significant sections of the population, argues Brig Aylwin-Foster.

Yes, that sophisticated approach really worked wonders in Northern Ireland from 1969 -2006.

What he calls a sense of "moral righteousness" contributed to the US response to the killing of four American contractors in Fallujah in the spring of 2004. As a "come-on" tactic by insurgents, designed to provoke a disproportionate response, it succeeded, says the brigadier, as US commanders were "set on the total destruction of the enemy".

Two R.Sigs were murdered on video as the world watched and too our eternal shame we did nothing.

The Armed Forces of both the US and the UK are not there to negotiate. They're there because negotiation failed, and force was required.
 
#12
Eccy said:
That same "can do" is why we British still speak English and not German.However.
That mate is quote simply rubbish. anyone who knows anything about history will tell you that.

And NI is currently at "peace" (I use the term losley, not ocunting organised crime and such), imagine how it would have turned out if we had an RTR trundling around in cheiftains blowing up house's.

Bet it wouldn't have been as quiet as it is now..
 
#13
Listy said:
Eccy said:
That same "can do" is why we British still speak English and not German.However.
That mate is quote simply rubbish. anyone who knows anything about history will tell you that.

And NI is currently at "peace" (I use the term losley, not ocunting organised crime and such), imagine how it would have turned out if we had an RTR trundling around in cheiftains blowing up house's.

Bet it wouldn't have been as quiet as it is now..
Are you speaking from experience? as I remember it the biggest impact on PIRA and INLA was when the blades and the RUC tore the arse out of them at Loughgall, Strabane, Gibraltar et al.
 
#14
The only reason there is 'peace' as you call it is because hundreds of soldiers and police officers gave their lives, only to have the politicians stab us in the back and cow tow tho terrorists.

Remember that the next time you see Martin McGuinness sneering at the cameras on TV.
 
#15
FACWIT wrote:
Brig Aylwin-Foster’s far reaching operational experience (1 tour of Belfast) qualifies him extensively to pass comment on the US forces. As a professional desk jockey perhaps he should look at our failings before criticising others.

Look at his last post

Quote:
The British officer - who was commander of a programme to train the Iraqi military - says he wrote the article with the intent to "be helpful to an institution I greatly respect".

I think he has ever so slightly more experience on the goings on in Iraq than you credit him with, and thus he has every right to criticise...

Point taken, I just forgot to put that PRIOR to going to Iraq 1 tour of Belfast (according to his own bio) was the only Op he had done. It is know that Senior US Military officals have certain reservations about the Brits, its just they have the decency not to publish stinging criticisms of thier closest allies.
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#16
I've seen US officers make the same sort of points that Brig A-F is making although not as thouroly or cohearently. Unfortunately the management is not listening or not hearing. Its interesting that he is accussed of snobbery, because that is how I would characterise many US military people when it comes to taking advise from anyone else.

My 'operational' experience with US troops was limited and in Bosnia, but I found that they were in a world of thier own - and not prepared to listen to anything anyone else had to offer. Thier attitude was aggressive, gung ho, all the time when frankly it was not needed. It was counter productive. Its no coincedence that MND SW was stabler quicker that the Sarajavo area.

Its not surprising that the critism of Brig A-F is mostly an attempt to play the man not the ball - but I suspect that if the article had been written by a serving US Officer it would be a career stopper.
 
#17
Eccy

Don't know if it effects the US ARmy as well but the MEF(?) out in the West of Iraq spent far too long with just a reported 2 Interupters per Battalion. Kinda makes it hard for locals to report stuff to patrols.

The period 1969 - 2006 covers a f**k of a lot of steep learning curve stuff.....Stuff that large chunks of the British Army learnt and took onboard. the 2 R.Sigs boys who died in that incident.....Well we could have used the Septic approach and killed hundreds getting those lads out.....a really clever move........

When you're conducting COIN operations it takes time, lots of time...EVERYTHING is LONG TERM approach, not victory this year but next decade. Along the way people will die, sometimes for the most stupid of reasons. If you truely want to win that's how it goes.
 
#18
Eccy said:
Brig Aylwin-Foster says the American army's laudable "can-do" approach paradoxically led to another trait, namely "damaging optimism".

That same "can do" is why we British still speak English and not German.
Actually, the main reason we don't speak German is down to the Red Army, but that's another story for another time.
 
#19
"But sometimes good articles do make you angry. We should publish articles like this. We are in a war and we must always be thinking of how we can improve the way we operate."

-Col Kevin Benson, commander of the US Army's elite School of Advanced Military Studies.

If more of their officers have this attitude, they will improve.
 
#20
Eccy said:
Yes, that sophisticated approach really worked wonders in Northern Ireland from 1969 -2006.


Two R.Sigs were murdered on video as the world watched and too our eternal shame we did nothing.

The Armed Forces of both the US and the UK are not there to negotiate. They're there because negotiation failed, and force was required.
actually old lad they are there to WIN, if that requires killing then so be it, however if it requires dancing in a pink tutu while reading aloud the works of Dr. Johnson then that is what they shall do.

you may have noticed - though i doubt it - that armed republicanism has gone from causing a serious headache to the the most experienced counter-insurgency army in NATO and blowing fecking great holes in our cities to setting light to telephone boxes and sending envelopes full of dogsiht to TA centres. you may also have noticed that PIRA has gone from having a vast arsenal of modern weapons to being a criminal gang that deals in petrol smuggling while armed with a few pistols and some baseball bats. it may or may not have come to your attention that armed republicanism has cashed in its 300 year old demands for a fully sovereign, indevisable socialist republic for an all-ireland tourist authority and some stormont notepaper.

the cost of that note paper to armed republicanism is the acceptance of majority consent, the acceptance of the legality of british democratic rule in the north and the public abandonment of the morality of armed struggle in Ireland. thats pretty expensive notepaper where i come from.

next time you see martin and gerry sneering on the telly remember that they buried their own ideology as well as many of their friends in the most comprehensive defeat of any insurgency the west has seen for a very long time. remember also that unlike british soldiers and policemen, neither gerry or martin can walk the lanes of south armagh or east tyrone for fear of a 'car accident', remember that both will spend the rest of their lives looking over their shoulders for the faces of once familar 'comrades'.

remember that, the next time you see martin and gerry on the TV, and ask yourself again who was defeated.
 

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