US Iraq troops condone torture

#1
The Pentagon survey found that less than half the troops in Iraq thought Iraqi civilians should be treated with dignity and respect.

More than a third believed that torture was acceptable if it helped save the life of a fellow soldier or if it helped get information about the insurgents.

About 10% of those surveyed said they had actually mistreated Iraqi civilians by hitting or kicking them, or had damaged their property when it was not necessary to do so.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/6627055.stm

Winning friends and influencing people septic style.

msr
 
#2
Lack of low-level leadership. Perhaps what you get when you promote someone to lance-corp within 6 months and to full-screw after another 6 without either experience or training. And where are the platoon sergeants and commanders to set the standards and reign their troops in?
 
#3
The alarming thing is that British troops become tarred with the US brush in matters like this, even though our standards and behaviour are of a far higher order.

This is what happens when a huge, wealthy nation with absolutely no experience of dealing with other peoples embarks on an imperialistic adventure - and drags the UK along with it.
 
#4
toadinthehole said:
Lack of low-level leadership. Perhaps what you get when you promote someone to lance-corp within 6 months and to full-screw after another 6 without either experience or training. And where are the platoon sergeants and commanders to set the standards and reign their troops in?
You have hit the nail on the head. Was chatting to a septic a few weeks ago who riddiculed the fact that we had Cpl's and Sgts in their 30's who had served 12-19 years when he was amongst 20-25 year old Cpls/Sgts. Experience and maturity counts for everything. There is always a bit of frustration and the odd bad apple but on the whole the British are more disciplined.
 
#5
toadinthehole said:
Lack of low-level leadership. Perhaps what you get when you promote someone to lance-corp within 6 months and to full-screw after another 6 without either experience or training. And where are the platoon sergeants and commanders to set the standards and reign their troops in?
Utter b0ll0cks. The rank structures don't even compare as such.
 
#6
In a poll a while ago 61% of Yanks thought torture was just dandy in rare circumstances. Just 39% thought there was no circumstances in which torture should be used.

Interesting thing here was only about 40% of US security people would contemplate applying cruel and unusual punishment. Most have great doubts abot the usefulness of torture even in hypothetical ticking bomb situations.

You could conclude that this new poll is more evidence of US soldiers distaste for torture compared with their damp pantied, 24 watching civie population.

Pat Lang presents the argument against.
"OK," says I. "Let's say he is really obdurate and the clock is ticking on said 'terrorist outrage,' so we bring him in here and you and you will hold him down while I take his fingers and toes off one at a time with garden shears until he talks? Are you "in" for that?" Shocked silence follows. "Ah, I get it," says I. " You mean that it would be 'all right' for people like me to do these things." At that point it can be seen from the faces that this is the case.
 
#7
Recently the Pentagon sent a Septic one-star to plead with Fox to stop glamourising the use of torture in 24 as it was giving GI Joe wrong ideas...

Thought it must have been a bad news day or something but now I understand why!
 
#8
I don't know how true this is. I know it's a Pentagon Survey, but doesn't it seem possible that some of the troops might have been joking or blowing off steam with their answers, without knowing it could be published? Plenty I'm sure would say off hand "If I had my way, oh I'd give those murdering thugs what's coming to them", but few would be truly serious. I've heard several remarks on this forum to that effect before

I certainly don't know everyone in the US Armed Forces, but this is miles from the people I've been associated with
 
#9
DummyRound said:
toadinthehole said:
Lack of low-level leadership. Perhaps what you get when you promote someone to lance-corp within 6 months and to full-screw after another 6 without either experience or training. And where are the platoon sergeants and commanders to set the standards and reign their troops in?
Utter b0ll0cks. The rank structures don't even compare as such.
DummyRound, then please expand your reply in order to educate me.
 
#10
See http://www.usapa.army.mil/pdffiles/r600_8_19.pdf
AR 600-8-19 "Army Enlisted Promotions and Reductions"

The US Army's equivalent to Lance Corporal is CPL/E4. Basically what it is is doing a US Army Sergeant/E-5's job, when not having the sufficient time-in-grade/in-service requirements to make the promotion. (Sergeant E-5 being more or less analagous to a Section 2/IC, which is a younger corporal for you lot, I believe).
Since promotion to E-4/SPC requires two years' Time-in-Service, let alone to E-4/CPL the chances of a US Army equivalent to a Lance Corp having all of 6 months are somewhere between zero, and none at all.
Similarly, to make E-5/SGT, you must have been in the Army for nearly three years.
To make Section Leader equivalent (SSG), I believe a seasoned corporal's position in the British Army, correct me if I'm wrong, requires some six and a half years in the army.

And where are the platoon sergeants and commanders to set the standards and reign their troops in?
Don't know. If they aren't doing their job, why am I not seeing CNN reporting "60% of US troops are committing torture?"

NTM
 
#11
Don't forget Cali if your highspeed you can fast track it, and get E-5 in a little over two years, unless of course you are a weekend warrior then you just wait for the slot to open.
 
#12
LJONESY said:
Don't forget Cali if your highspeed you can fast track it, and get E-5 in a little over two years, unless of course you are a weekend warrior then you just wait for the slot to open.
Whilst true, it's not standard process: A unit can only have a certain percentage with the standard TIS/TIG waivered, and even at that, it's only a waiver to the secondary zone for the promotions board, not the primary.

NTM
 
#13
I'd hoped that since the revelations of Abu Ghraib and since Donald Rumsfeld hung up his rusty electrodes, there'd be a natural return to progressive, civilised, humane treatment of prisoners.

In many ways I'm not surprised, because we are talking about US forces here - and they seem to operate in isolation - out of the reach of normal international law. Many would still try to defend the indefensible i.e. the Guantanamo Bay facility.

I think a similar survey of American civilians would give a contrasting result. But why? The US forces are there to do the will of the American people - and to do it with honour, surely?
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#14
California_Tanker said:
The US Army's equivalent to Lance Corporal is CPL/E4. Basically what it is is doing a US Army Sergeant/E-5's job, when not having the sufficient time-in-grade/in-service requirements to make the promotion. (Sergeant E-5 being more or less analagous to a Section 2/IC, which is a younger corporal for you lot, I believe).
Since promotion to E-4/SPC requires two years' Time-in-Service, let alone to E-4/CPL the chances of a US Army equivalent to a Lance Corp having all of 6 months are somewhere between zero, and none at all.
Similarly, to make E-5/SGT, you must have been in the Army for nearly three years.
To make Section Leader equivalent (SSG), I believe a seasoned corporal's position in the British Army, correct me if I'm wrong, requires some six and a half years in the army.

NTM
Section 2ic is a Lance-Corporal in the British Army (and ergo equivilent to your E-5?) and Section IC is a Corporal. There are only two NCOs per section, the Section Cmdr (Cpl) and his 2ic (LCpl). A section will not have a slack handfull of LCpl's acting as Riflemen waiting to take over as 2ic, in fact the reverse is often true, i.e. a senior Rifleman may be given the position of 2ic and/or a LCpl given the postion of Section Cmdr, because there is a vacancy.

Promotion in the infantry is infinitely harder than in other branches due the "Filling The Dead Man's Shoes" restriction. A Rifleman will not be promoted to LCpl simply because of time-served and/or ability, a slot has to be available. The same goes for Cpl's. Six and half years to make Section Commander sounds about typical.
 
#15
California_Tanker said:
And where are the platoon sergeants and commanders to set the standards and reign their troops in?
Don't know. If they aren't doing their job, why am I not seeing CNN reporting "60% of US troops are committing torture?"

NTM
Fair comment. Yes, it would be all over CNN if this were the case.
 
#16
RP578 said:
California_Tanker said:
The US Army's equivalent to Lance Corporal is CPL/E4. Basically what it is is doing a US Army Sergeant/E-5's job, when not having the sufficient time-in-grade/in-service requirements to make the promotion. (Sergeant E-5 being more or less analagous to a Section 2/IC, which is a younger corporal for you lot, I believe).
Since promotion to E-4/SPC requires two years' Time-in-Service, let alone to E-4/CPL the chances of a US Army equivalent to a Lance Corp having all of 6 months are somewhere between zero, and none at all.
Similarly, to make E-5/SGT, you must have been in the Army for nearly three years.
To make Section Leader equivalent (SSG), I believe a seasoned corporal's position in the British Army, correct me if I'm wrong, requires some six and a half years in the army.

NTM
Section 2ic is a Lance-Corporal in the British Army (and ergo equivilent to your E-5?) and Section IC is a Corporal. There are only two NCOs per section, the Section Cmdr (Cpl) and his 2ic (LCpl). A section will not have a slack handfull of LCpl's acting as Riflemen waiting to take over as 2ic, in fact the reverse is often true, i.e. a senior Rifleman may be given the position of 2ic and/or a LCpl given the postion of Section Cmdr, because there is a vacancy.
My understanding now is the US infantry section (squad) consists of nine not eight troops. There are two fire teams of four, each headed up by the equiv of a lance-jack. The squad is commanded by the equiv of a full corporal (SSG ? - staff sergeant ?) who concentrates on fighting the squad rather than getting involved in the detail of managing a fire team. Arguably a better system than the UK equiv even if the squad structure that is populated with ranks different from British Army.
 
#17
A Rifleman will not be promoted to LCpl simply because of time-served and/or ability, a slot has to be available. The same goes for Cpl's.
That's pretty much the way it works in the US. Every soldier is given a 'Paragraph and line number', which is basically the troop's position in the TOE. Para/Line gives authorised strength, so, for example, a tank unit will have a total of three E-7s, 8 E-6s, about 18 E-5s, and so on. If there are no E-6 slots available, an E-5 cannot be promoted to E-6 even if he's made the minimum time-in-grade requirements. And so on for every NCO rank. PV1, PV2 and PFC are not subject to that restriction, but they're not NCOs. If there is a slot available, but the troop has not made minimum TIG/TIS requirements, he can still take the position, but cannot be promoted to the new rank. Hence you can have E-5 Squad leaders, and this is the basis for a CPL rank: Doing an E-5 job without meeting the minimum requirements for E-5 rank.

My understanding now is the US infantry section (squad) consists of nine not eight troops. There are two fire teams of four, each headed up by the equiv of a lance-jack. The squad is commanded by the equiv of a full corporal (SSG ? - staff sergeant ?) who concentrates on fighting the squad rather than getting involved in the detail of managing a fire team
Correct. Squaddie = PV1 thru SPC. Three per team. Team Leader = SGT or CPL. Two per squad. Squad leader = SSG. Three per platoon. Platoon Sergeant = SFC. One per platoon.

NTM

NTM
 
#18
Did I understand you correctly 3: PV1 thru SPC, 2: CPL or SGT, 3:SSG, and 1: SFC?
California_Tanker, are you British or American? (I would say American.)
 
#19
Yup the light infantry squad consists of 9 bodies. But don't forget you might have a few attachments if your lucky or unlucky enough to get them.
 
#20
One thing to keep in mind is that the US Army and USMC have a differant rifle squad MTOE. They have thirteen man squads broken into three maneuver elements. Here's a decent comparison chart... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_and_United_States_military_ranks_compared

Looks like our SGT and SSG equate to your SGT... and our SFC is your SSG...

I have a NATO guide book around here somewhere that listed all the member nation's rank structure...
 

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