I had last posted on this, but what the hey - it's my lunch break.
I find that the reports that I am hearing from Iraq regarding the behaviour of US troops are showing that the troops are lacking in discipline and control.
Correct - it is hearsay. But is not all reports hearsay? Is not all history, unless you were actually there hearsay. Recently I read a rather excellent book on the life of Adolf Hitler by Toland. Given that he had never met Hitler or sat in on his staff meetings I suppose I should just dismiss his book as hearsay as well?
They've shown this throughout history? Stretching back millenia, I'm sure. This is peculiar, since the US was heavily isolationist until the early 20th century and had never once attempted to maintain an army of occupation before then. Since then, the only prolonged occupation by U.S. forces has been the Phillipines. Is that what you meant by "repeatedly shown throughout history?"
Actually, yes. I made the assumption that most educated people know that the US did not become heavily involved in external affairs (i.e. outside the Americas) until the 20th century.
Additionally, the successful occupation of a hostile territory doesn't exactly require "moral fiber."
Correct. But if you are taking the moral high ground - i.e. kicking out a murderous dictator and restoring peace and democracy - then it does require control of your troops so they don't get trigger happy and kill the very medium of reports from that country. This also applies to the people that they are there to "liberate". The occupation of Russia by Nazi Germany obviously did not require the finesse that say the occupation of Japan by the US post WWII or Iraq by the coalition does.
I believe the quote "kill 'em all let god sort it out" is from a movie. Is that where you gathered this stereotype? Is that one of your "sources" of "reports?"
No - direct interaction with US military forces (from my service days - admitedly a LONG time ago) plus also reports from friends who are still in the service. However the quote is from a film, and its use was probably a little inflammatory :-).
The U.S. maintains several times more troops in the Iraqi region than the U.K. and a corresponding increase in the number of incidents would be expected.
Correct - I have taken this into account - I do not have the time to do the research, but pretty much every account involving journalists and nearly all invovling civilians involves the US. As I mentioned in another post, if it was Brits I would still have concerns about control, but it never seems to be anybut the US troops. I am willing to acknowledge this could be a function of the way things are reported, but you have to admit that nearly all reports involve the US forces.
...I'm always saddened to see that silly inflammatory nationalism thrives as much elsewhere as in the U.S. U.S. troops have a "gung ho" attitude, and they may be able to win "set piece" battles, but they lack the "moral fiber" to occupy. In America, people with a similar mindset to yours might retort that the U.K. and France have both shown themselves embarrassingly incapable either of winning set piece battles, or of maintaining occupations. It's common among the American jingoist crowd to remark that the French are masters of surrender and the British don't have a serious military force.
My comments were not based on nationalism - I dont give a shit whether or not the troops were US, Brits, Aussies, whatever. The number of cases involving these troops and their actions indicates that there is a field discipline issue. That is my point. Why do you assume I am anti US?
As for my comments regards set piece battles in my study of 20th century military history I have not seen much to change my view of the US military. In most engagements that the US has participated in they have generally won by having superior firepower, supply and command and control. This applies to their efforts in WWI, WWII and to a lesser extent Korea. Vietnam was a different kettle of fish. No great enemy to oppose, opposition at home, opposition from the people they were trying to save. In the set battles of Tet in '68, Khe San and Hue the US did well. Note that a lot of these battles while tactical successes were considered operational and/or strategic failures. I believe that if the US had of been able to bring to bear its full military potential against the NVA and been allowed to fight properly instead of being hamstrung by poloticians they would have won - although China might have spoilt the party and who knows where that would have lead...
I will stress again I am NOT anti US per se. However, the US has made a decision to attempt to stake the moral high ground with Iraq. As a part of that moral high ground comes responsibility, and it is this area that US troops are failing. Killing people in order to save them should not be an option, and in allowing it to happen the US undermines its entire message.
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