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28 November 2005

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Eric

Another part of the picture:

Many (army) reserve component troops were apparently converted into MPs from 2003 on. guard units were activated, sent to MP training for 8-16 weeks, then sent over. Artillery units were the favorites. This story has long ago dropped off the radar screen.

Do you know how prevalent this has been, Pat?

W. Patrick Lang

Eric,

There was a lot of it in the conversion of reserve component units to the MP field, but what we are talking about is a massive process of more or less permanent conversion and a lot of it in the Regular Army.

Rumsfeld has a particular thing about artillery and they are a natural set of "victims" of this.

I have never gotten a straight answer when asking how many tubes of artillery are in Iraq. pl

Curious

This is just effing great.

When will those asshat general notice that killing those 'young soldiers' who really are people who seeks to better their future, joining the army to get education/out of poverty...

are NOT suppose to get killed/maimed, cause they are much greater resource to the nation with their education/experiance afterward.

I got a BRIGHT IDEA...

WHY don't we retrained those ASSHAT generals and send them to front line.

What do we got to lost? SOme of those soldiers are bright computr programmers, future medical doctors, future enterpreneurs. Those are the young people who will solve our future problem, including energy crisis. (YES THE ONE WE ARE stealing out of Iraq right now)

Those asshat generals? FUCKING WORM food soon.

So why can't we waste them isntead? Is not like they are contributing anything productive to the society instead of keep making stupid mistakes over and over again?

Retrain RUMSFELD to be an infrantryman. Why not? Are we talking age discrimination now? Or Rumsfeld is TOOO precious to go to front line? What's so precious about him? Plus he got his big mouth to match anyway.

Whatta racket.

Bunch of war criminals!

This war HAS TO STOP NOW!

Curious

I am not done yet!

So My proposal. We should retrain those general as front line infantrymen.

What are they doing right now? Busy kissing Bush ass instead of serving the nation?

whatta bunch of mofos.

Curious

US Air Power to Replace Infantry in Iraq;
Distant President Trapped in Utopianism

Veteran journalist Seymour Hersh is reporting in the New Yorker that the Bush administration has decided to draw down ground troops in Iraq. Knowledgeable observers strongly suspect that this step would produce a meltdown and possibly even civil war in Iraq (which could become a regional war). Bush's strategy may be to try to control the situation using air power.

http://www.juancole.com/2005/11/us-air-power-to-replace-infantry-in.html


I can predict exactly what will happen afterward. We will use air power in urban situation. More Iraqis civilians get killed, and more public outrage.

This is bad. Iraq is a series of one blunder and incompetency after another.


ked

Rummy: "Pace, the Army isn't performing. We got to get them transformed, top-to-bottom".
Pace: "Sir, yes sir! They must become more like Marines - everyone of 'em a Fighting Infantryman!"
Rummy: "And they got a bad attitude. Break 'em down to scratch, like the Crucible".
Pace: "Great idea, sir. Can't wait to break down the Army!"
Rummy: "Exactly! The Army isn't broken enough. Now get to it"!
Pace: "Aye Aye Sir! With pleasure!"

J

Colonel,

I just can't understand Pace's mindset, particularly since in 68 Pace served as a rifle platoon leader in Nam.

One would think he would know better.

J

Colonel,

Pace also was billeted at the Nam Phong 'Rose Garden' in Thailand.

Do you think the 'swamp' affected his thinking?

Michael Murry

One key word summarizes Pat Lang's informed observations here: "desperation." We victim/veterans of the the Nixon-Kissinger Fig Leaf Contingent can easily recognize its foul spectre in the current deployment of our sacrificial army to Iraq: this time as the Cheney/Rumsfeld Buy Time Brigade. This unit's mission: "stall and die daily until the miracle happens."

I can't speak for officers, because as an ex-enlisted man, I had a specific military occupational specialty (MOS) that supposedly defined my function in the military. In my case, as an electrician's mate, I supposedly had the job of maintaining and operating shipboard electrical systems: power generation, distribution, and consumption by motors and pumps. Yes, if called to do so, we sailors might have to lay our ship alongside our enemy, grapple with him, board him and strangle him with our bare hands if necessary. Normally, though, the Navy employed another military occupational specialty called the Marine Corps to do that sort of thing. We sailors had other business just keeping a floating iron village from sinking and drowning us all.

In the last, desperate years of America's War on Vietnam, however, many of us technical specialists got squeezed in the already-downsizing military which had fewer ships for us to staff but a perpetually stalled "Vietnamization" program to "stand up" till the miraculous prophecy of Melvin Laird's "successful" Vietnamese military could happen. So I found myself transferred from staff duty on a nuclear reactor testing prototype in Idaho Falls Idaho to Vietnamese language training at DLIWC (Defens Language Institute, West Coast). No, Vietnam did not have any nuclear reactors, but the country did have delapidated French and newer American river patrol boats to "take over" from us Americans so that Lt. John Kerry and his fellow American sailors could get off the rivers, take their well-deserved medals and go home. To facilitate this desperate rear-guard "strategy," I had to become a naval advisor.

One can easily see the level of desperation here. So much for my career as an enlisted nuclear power plant operator, the very reason I had joined the Navy in the first place, and the entire reason I had agreed -- for the extra technical and scientific training -- to indenture myself for six long years of military service. So much for career "contracts" with the United States Government.

As Pat Lang says, this sort of thing did not make me an infantryman. In addition to my thirty-two weeks of intensive language training, I also received eleven weeks of counter-insurgency training (which included 3 weeks of weapons familiarization taught by the Marines at Camp Pendeleton, California). Much later, when a base commander ordered me up into a watchtower to man an M-60 machine gun during a night mortar attack, I performed as best I knew how: which meant poorly. The 50-caliber heavy machine gun emplaced at the foot of the tower (manned by some Vietnamese special forces) opened up on something (I supposed) and I could see the tracers flying out into the darkness. So I aimed my M-60 in approximately the same direction and lit the motherfucker off. Complete silence ensued. The 50-cal beneath me stopped firing. The phone on the tower wall rang. The base commanding officer demanded to know: "What are you shooting at?" I replied: "Whatever the 50-cal below me is shooting at, sir!" I never got to go back up in that tower again. Instead, I got banished to a pontoon float in the middle of the river to serve as liason with the Vietnamese boats tied up there in case we needed to call in American air support during future attacks. I became a much better interpreter because of my enforced contact with the Vietnamese, but I never became anything approaching a qualified infantryman.

We have too much desperation going on now in Iraq. We have lots of good people from all the military branches who will try their best to do whatever their limited -- or even non-existent -- training prepares them to do. In many instances, this will produce ineffective or completely counter-productive results. In any case, for the government to renege on career commitments made to enlisted specialists only adds to a bitter -- and justified -- feeling of betrayal among their ranks. We don't have a big enough army for the job our government has asked our army to do in both Iraq and Afghanistan. We don't need a bigger army, though: we just need a smaller number of well-chosen jobs (i.e., "wars"). Since we intiated this War on Iraq entirely at our own discretion, we can forthrightly conclude it the same way. No national interest justifies the wanton sacrifice of our infantry and our enlisted specialists.

Not too many years ago the American government broke faith with us conscripted and enlisted specialists. We discovered -- as a lifelong lesson -- the utter foolishness of placing any trust in the government of our own country. Some of us managed to recover, and even gain a little something, from the experience. Tragically, many of us never did recover. If America wants to produce another wrecked military and a generation of bitter, "kiss my ass" misfortunellers like me, then just keep up this monumental fraud and exploitation for another ten months or so. And finally, I really wouldn't advise planing on any "tipping point," "corner-turning," or "light at the end of the tunnel" miracles. They don't happen.

John Wendt

If you re-train your mechanics as infantrymen, what do you do for mechanics?

Curious

If you re-train your mechanics as infantrymen, what do you do for mechanics?
Posted by: John Wendt | 28 November 2005 at 06:22 PM ~~

Why Halliburton and private contractors of course. It's another bright day in corruptionville.

EnoughAlready

Putting together PL's post w/commenters, can we infer that Army will become those who kill plus Private Contractors for everything else?

If so, isn't that a) a Helluva lot more costly b )terrible for morale c) effectively the end of the volunteer Army?

ali

It's not like the US military was particularly suited to occupying Iraq in the first place. It is a fine battlefield force but there are very few units with much talent as colonial constabulary. Sending Cookie off on foot patrol is not a solution. It's like something the politically bullied British army would do. An All Volunteer Army that is so carelessly abused to save the face of politicians will end up being a very small army.

Curious

Update on 'air power v. Iraqis troop. btw, the entire article is worth a read. tons of info.)

http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/051205fa_fact

Robert Pape, a political-science professor at the University of Chicago, who has written widely on American airpower, and who taught for three years at the Air Force’s School of Advanced Airpower Studies, in Alabama, predicted that the air war “will get very ugly” if targeting is turned over to the Iraqis. This would be especially true, he said, if the Iraqis continued to operate as the U.S. Army and Marines have done—plowing through Sunni strongholds on search-and-destroy missions. “If we encourage the Iraqis to clear and hold their own areas, and use airpower to stop the insurgents from penetrating the cleared areas, it could be useful,” Pape said. “The risk is that we will encourage the Iraqis to do search-and-destroy, and they would be less judicious about using airpower—and the violence would go up. More civilians will be killed, which means more insurgents will be created.”

ked

USAF CoS Nightmare:
Iraqi Grd Forces directing US pilots & UCAV assets on any target they damn-well please. Flattened "AQ bomb-making complex" turns out to be a school & hospital facility. Its War, For Allah's Sake! Bad things happen! {probably AQ children & injured anyway - right?} We're Sorry!
Now, here's the next set of coordinates, please...

{this war is starting to remind me of an old Star Trek plot, w/o the scheduled happy resolution.)

Sally

General Pace is more of the same poor military leadership we've witnessed for years, in the mold of the kiss-up, kick-down guy he replaced. It's more than shameful these "leaders" don't have any allegiance to our troops or concern for their safety and well-being.

TANGENT:

One of my first jobs in the real world was doing testosterone function studies: neuter, replace hormones, observe tissue changes. At the time somebody told us that when similar studies were done on chickens, capons receiving higher doses of testosterone became:

* INCREASINGLY ASSERTIVE, then
* SUPREMELY SELF-CONFIDENT, then
* OVERBEARING, and ultimately afflicted with
* "ÜBER-ROOSTER DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR."

About three or four years ago a clinician friend told me that off-label androgen replacement therapy was a huge pharma-fad and much in demand among very-very-well-to-do men, some of whom start it in their early forties.

I had forgotten both anecdotes till I viewed a clip of Rumsfeld in action which for some reason triggered the recollection.

And so I seriously wonder/question if there might be an iatrogenic component to some of this folly.

Eric

Saw something a bit humorous on Wolfie Blizer tonight.

Discussion of video-gaming, GameBoy etc.

Spokesman for regulation saw the imminent decline of the West, if the games were not regulated.

Spokesman for the industry said the only thing the games had not thus far been blamed for was "the failure to find Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq."

When a government position becomes the butt of jokes for non comedians, as the great poet, Don Meredith, once said:

"THE PARTY'S OVER".

Seymour

One of the items we are missing here is the intensive knowledge base that Infantrymen have to have. While specialists are, as my mother used to say about PHDs, an inch wide and a mile deep, Infantrymen are a mile deep and over half-a-mile wide where knowledge is concerned. Most infantrymen I knew in my little war had great depth and scope while, as a simple logistician, only had to figure out how to support them (OK - maybe I was a quarter-of-a- mile wide (as a lower tier graduate of Benning school for boys).

Eric

Interesting subject matter for the Stew Pot:


http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pubs/display.cfm?PubID=627

Curious

Nobody makes this comment yet, so I'd say it.

Remember how Rumsfeld was cheerleading 'facile military', 'transformational'.... air power, smaller troops, bla bla... (basically a fat handout to General dynamics, Boeings, ets, to build more toys and reduce personels)

But After Iraq, F-22, JSF, next carriers are all in doubt now. Everbody is asking, Why do we need expensive AF, when the army can do recon, and dropping bombs using UAV.

Doing....

There goes Boeing plan for F-22 and JSF. Even the european is rethinking the whole thing. (screw JSF, we need more advance UAV)

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