US troops "brighter, stronger, more committed" than Brits?

#3
Well the aussies are definitely fitter on average - why not the yanks? Cant see Mr Urban getting a lift in my Snatch now though!
 
#4
Curious comments from Mark Urban, normally a sharp and savvy operator. One for the guys on the ground to answer. Is there too much cynicism in UK armed forces these days? Another Blair legacy?
 
#5
The author is simply a racist

In many British infantry battalions 15% or 20% are now Fijians or other Commonwealth contract soldiers.

The Americans, by contrast, may have had some recent problems staffing their army but they have been able to retain more of a sense of common purpose and drive.
I suspect that after 'by contrast' the author wrote something else (edited later).
 
#7
Mark Urban Quote: "But there is no shortage of determination or creativity and tonight Sergeant Perez and Lieutenant Carlisle will probably resume their running discourse in the Dura cafe about how they can do it better tomorrow. "

If they don't set a pattern and get blown to pieces that is.

Mr Urban seems impressed that the sceptics are discussing removing sunglasses to speak to natives and waving at them (watch which hand you use!) rather than blowing them away. Perhaps he should have watched more British army recruiting adverts as aprt of his research!

uqfegd

pp
 
#8
Try doing some research on the author before slagging him... he's a former officer in your military and has decent credentials for a journalist.
 
#9
Can't folks go through a thread without bashing yanks? If you want to bash someone, bash the author because the yanks never even said they were better than anyone. These guys are just trying to finish their year long tours without getting themselves or buddies killed. I think we should either remember that or leave the yanks alone.
 
#10
US troops are trying to secure Baghdad
My BBC colleague, Mark McCauley, instructed Lieutenant Jake Carlisle in the art of rolling your own cigarettes. He also told him how it had felt, as a young Catholic from Londonderry in Northern Ireland
I'm sure a fair analysis of British soldiers was provided.

Perhaps this explains it.
 
#11
Let us not forget that the reason we are in Iraq has nothing to do with Saddam, or middle east peace or anything else apart from securing a huge proportion of the worlds oil predominantly for the good old US of A. We are now having to pick up the shit and be tarred with the same brush as them. We are in a totally unwinnable war and the sooner we realise that and pull out the better-both us and america.
 
#12
A fairly silly argument for Urban to make in any case. Are Americans in general more intelligent too?

The British Army are conceded as being one of the best trained armies in the world; our forces are lauded for their ability to punch above their weight.

We are not the best armed forces but then such a claim would be beyond proving in any case.

The points I will make based upon long-term exposure to US Forces are that the majority of US manpower join for short periods for economic reasons (paying for college etc) and tend to be from the lower/poorer classes, including racial minorities, bringing with them far more serious social problems (drugs, poor diet when younger, poverty) than their UK counterparts (which while we have our problems they are not as widespread or at times serious as those within North America). The 'Mom's Apple Pie' image of US soldiers is a hollywood invention in the same way that all British Officers are upper-class twits...

In addition the regimental system has the benefit of promoting better unit cohesion, which should outweigh the odd gifted commander in the US Forces.

These factors are beginning to count for less as we amalgamate units and our social problems increase (MOD take note) but still give us a bit of an edge (not the edge though!).

Urban I suspect that post was meant to bait us into this kind of response. Good journalism I concede but we all prefer what the media now term bad journalism (honest reporting, impartiality and a social concern as the reason for the story).

I hope you win a prize for your good journalism; it is richly deserved.
 
#13
BlotBangRub said:
US troops are trying to secure Baghdad
My BBC colleague, Mark McCauley, instructed Lieutenant Jake Carlisle in the art of rolling your own cigarettes. He also told him how it had felt, as a young Catholic from Londonderry in Northern Ireland
I'm sure a fair analysis of British soldiers was provided.

Perhaps this explains it.
Mark Urban was in the British Army himself and often reports from UK bases, etc. I'm sure he has enough experience to make comparisons himself without relying on his cameraman or whoever.
 
#14
not convinced by what he says. as Sergey notes, he seems to imply that a drop in quality is indicated by extra recruitment of Commonwealth troops - I'm not sure that's true. we've got plenty of Commonwealth soldiers, some very good, some very bad, and not much different from everybody else.

the US "can-do" attitude cuts both ways. on the one hand, it makes your blokes positive and committed; on the other, it can mean that failures don't get reported up the chain of command - wasn't this a criticism made by Brig Alwyn-Foster a couple of years ago?
 
#15
hellfyyr said:
A fairly silly argument for Urban to make in any case. Are Americans in general more intelligent too?

The British Army are conceded as being one of the best trained armies in the world; our forces are lauded for their ability to punch above their weight.

We are not the best armed forces but then such a claim would be beyond proving in any case.

The points I will make based upon long-term exposure to US Forces are that the majority of US manpower join for short periods for economic reasons (paying for college etc) and tend to be from the lower/poorer classes, including racial minorities, bringing with them far more serious social problems (drugs, poor diet when younger, poverty) than their UK counterparts (which while we have our problems they are not as widespread or at times serious as those within North America). The 'Mom's Apple Pie' image of US soldiers is a hollywood invention in the same way that all British Officers are upper-class twits...

In addition the regimental system has the benefit of promoting better unit cohesion, which should outweigh the odd gifted commander in the US Forces.

These factors are beginning to count for less as we amalgamate units and our social problems increase (MOD take note) but still give us a bit of an edge (not the edge though!).

Urban I suspect that post was meant to bait us into this kind of response. Good journalism I concede but we all prefer what the media now term bad journalism (honest reporting, impartiality and a social concern as the reason for the story).

I hope you win a prize for your good journalism; it is richly deserved.
Nonsense my dear fellow. Of course the US problems will be larger that the UK problem because well they have a larger Armed forces. I think you are the one who seems to have a myopic view of US personnel with comments like
In addition the regimental system has the benefit of promoting better unit cohesion, which should outweigh the odd gifted commander in the US Forces.
.
 
#16
hellfyyr said:
A fairly silly argument for Urban to make in any case. Are Americans in general more intelligent too?

The British Army are conceded as being one of the best trained armies in the world; our forces are lauded for their ability to punch above their weight.

By whom? Themselves?

We are not the best armed forces but then such a claim would be beyond proving in any case.

The points I will make based upon long-term exposure to US Forces are that the majority of US manpower join for short periods for economic reasons (paying for college etc) and tend to be from the lower/poorer classes, including racial minorities, bringing with them far more serious social problems (drugs, poor diet when younger, poverty) than their UK counterparts (which while we have our problems they are not as widespread or at times serious as those within North America).

When did you gain this exposure? Certainly the US Army was in poor shape in the post-VietNam era but has improved massivley since, AIUI.

The 'Mom's Apple Pie' image of US soldiers is a hollywood invention in the same way that all British Officers are upper-class twits...

In addition the regimental system has the benefit of promoting better unit cohesion, which should outweigh the odd gifted commander in the US Forces.

These factors are beginning to count for less as we amalgamate units and our social problems increase (MOD take note) but still give us a bit of an edge (not the edge though!).

There's no evidence for either of these assertions.

Urban I suspect that post was meant to bait us into this kind of response. Good journalism I concede but we all prefer what the media now term bad journalism (honest reporting, impartiality and a social concern as the reason for the story).

I hope you win a prize for your good journalism; it is richly deserved.
Not sure Mark Urban gives a damn what posters on here think. He's already had several published works and is a well-known BBC journo.
 
#17
Wasanig said:
Let us not forget that the reason we are in Iraq has nothing to do with Saddam, or middle east peace or anything else apart from securing a huge proportion of the worlds oil predominantly for the good old US of A. We are now having to pick up the s*** and be tarred with the same brush as them. We are in a totally unwinnable war and the sooner we realise that and pull out the better-both us and america.
Not one drop of Iraqi oil has come our way my friend... matter of fact, foreign imports of the stuff equate to a quarter of what is used here (Nigeria and Venezuala provide the lion's share of that.) Just in the past 18 months alone we have doubled the amount of rigs in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Florida... combined with newly approved methods of extracting petroleum from shale and opening a small region of Alaska to drilling (which by the way has proven by geologic survey to possess greater amounts of oil than what is in the middle east) we will be just about independent of imported stuff before long.

Now... were your argument that we are there to secure oil for our allies in Japan, Australia, etc. who depend upon it so that their economies don't tank, there would be some validity to it...

No war in unwinnable... had we gone in as the imperialistic SOBs some accuse of us and actually occupied properly rather than attempting to build a democracy, Iraq would be quite pacified. We didn't do that... rather we let some assclown diplomats direct the efforts post Saddam and set ourselves up for a headache. Pulling out lock, stock, and barrel would prevent us from taking further casualties but it would also lead to an orgy of vilolence of which the occurances now are a pale shadow. Not going to argue about whether we should have ever gone in, personally I do not believe we should have but to abandon the place now would be immoral at best.
 
#19
Khyros said:
Try doing some research on the author before slagging him... he's a former officer in your military and has decent credentials for a journalist.
It's been a while since I read Big Boys Rules, and I'm happy to be corrected, but IIRC he served about a year as a ranker with an RTR capbadge.
 
#20
What a load of tosh, and what a pointless rambling bit of copy. I think Mark Urban was a tankie for a while.

The US army is a vast organistation and some who I have worked with have been really squared away sh*t hot soldiers and others have been down right scary in their skills and drills. On the whole a good bunch and quite a laugh once we got the measure of each others humour.

The British army clearly has some soldiers who are never going to challenge Mensa but on the ground (and especially our Infantry) are really giving as good as they get and then some. Aimed shots every time. But all arms of Britfor are performing to the usual high standards - Mark Urban is rambling and not making sense.

What a silly article, it achieves nothing.
 

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