What Would You Do?

Hello, new poster here.

I left the service some years ago (US Army), but I've recently read threads here that describe some infantry skills that posters think need to be introduced or improved in Iraq, as part of a wider Hearts and Minds sea-change for the US elements of the coalition.

Some things like our checkpoints being deficient, our use of recon by fire instead of inserting riflemen, etc. Well, if you were given carte blanche over the Defense Department (Rumsfeld with unlimited political capital), and you were keen on making the Iraq effort work, what would you do? Not in terms of policy (which is above your head), but in terms of training, organization, RoE, and missions? It just seems to me the British Army has an orientation toward COIN and a rather strong emphasis on infantry (possibly a product of the Northern Ireland situation?), and I'd like to hear some of that perspective from your soldiers... there do seem to be very strong cultural differences that might make some of those suggestions not acceptable to us, but some would certainly be.
Put it this way. Firing bursts of 50 Cal over the top of a British Convoy, (rounds landing in the nearby town), in order to ask the slower moving convoy to let them past, does not endear you to the other Multi-National Forces or the locals.

Firing on an Iraqi Army checkpoint as you drive through because they were "acting suspiciously" does nothing to endear you to them either.

Breathlessly explaining to British Soldiers how you "got through two mags on the way here man" when they didn't return fire in a seperate contact the previous day for fear of hitting civilians doesn't make you look good.

Pouring fire into a Iraqi taxi, seriously wounding the driver because he was driving towards you and didn't pull over, thus possibly triggering an indirect fire attack onto a British Base the following night pi##es everyone off!

There. Rant over. I would start by sorting these issues out first.


Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Come on: this guy has recognised there may be a problem, he's recognised that the British Army may have some of the solutions and has asked a serious question - having a rant at him is not helping. If you can't be bothered to give him a positive reply then why bother to reply at all?

I'm not inf and have not been to Iraq which is why I'm not offering that advise, but I would offer this observation. The current Op like most OOTW is a Hearts and Minds matter. We've all heard the old saying that if you grab them by the ball thier hearts and minds will follow (I heard it said by a US officer in Bosnia). The problem is that as soon as you let go of thier balls and turn your back they will stick a knife in it.
Ther is a good book which to some degree covers dealing with terrorists in a town/village setting. 'Having Been a Soldier' by LCol Colin Mitchell

You may find it interesting.