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10 December 2005

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W. Patrick Lang

Joey

Welcome to the board. pl

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William R. Cumming

Thinking there is merit to Sam's comment. Whether the COIN of the Realm involves tube artillery is unknown to me but no doubt some education in what towed 105s can accomplish might be of interest to those interested in spreading the anti-taliban oilspots. Do they still exist or do we have to buy them from S.Africa? [I believe S.Africa at one time was largest producer of 105mm rounds in the world. Could be wrong!]Also are there foreign military observers attached to US forces that are not participants?

Jose

Joey Wheeler, great post, but when conducting an "L" ambush maneuver didn't you use indirect fire you cover your flanks or pin the enemy by denying lines of retreat?

I believe the planting season is coming soon, if we continue to play "nice" what will happen to these poor people who will be even poorer?

Predators have ensured that they will hate us for a long time, so why try have "Stan the Man" apologize for collateral damage at this point?

Andrew

'As you think this over, I will give you my opinion that to be honest (intellectually honest) you have to accept the fact that by not making as much fire support available as is needed up front (as opposed to in the rear at Hq.) you are making a decision to have more Americans killed and wounded. Its a trade off.'

Of course. But surely this applies to going to war at all? If America had never invaded Iraq, fewer Americans would have died (and fewer Iraqis too, but let's leave them to one side for now).

Whenever you launch an attack isn't the same trade-off made? You order men to climb out of their foxholes, they are more at risk of death, but (you hope that) some objective is achieved.

I don't think I clearly understand why accepting an increased risk to 'friendly' lives by limiting the use of certain weapons is a more emotive issue than accepting an increased risk for any other reason.

Is it because the control of weapons is retained at higher levels? I can certainly see that this shows a lack of trust in the troops to abide by the rules of engagement, which is a very serious business. Or is it because you regard the mission as futile? In that case any risk taken to complete it - however small - is surely unacceptable so the issue of artillery support is really beside the point. The point is the futility of what America is trying to achieve in Iraq.

I suppose I am also disturbed by this because I am a civillian in an American-allied nation. I had always thought that the point of soldiers is that they put their lives at risk to make us safe (and often, in practice, for policy goals much less clear-cut than that). This is why we hold soldiers in esteem, and other men of violence in comtempt. When you say to J Thomas 'To put it bluntly, if I have or had to choose between dead GIs and dead whatevers, the GIs win every time.' I see that this may not be true. Perhaps I am just a 'whatever' like those civillian Iraqis.

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