View Poll Results: Is war in Iraq....

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  • Central to GWOT (like Berlin/Moscow in Cold War)

    11 68.75%
  • Distraction from GWOT (like Vietnam in Cold War)

    5 31.25%
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Thread: Iraq education and training (merged thread)

  1. #21
    Council Member CPT Holzbach's Avatar
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    Default True.

    Mr. Moore said:
    our enemy is his own worst enemy.
    Indeed. We will win (or the Iraqis will) because the insurgents really are monsters. Many more people understand that then is recognized in the media.

    Mr. Tex 6 said:
    At the ground level(E-1 to E-6), we do not want to understand the concept
    I find this to be one of the biggest tactical level problems over here, which can have strategic reach a la the "strategic corporal" effect. The soldiers and junior NCOs are not trained at all in this kind of war. My old unit (mortar platoon) really believed that hammering certain bad neighborhoods with HE rounds until the locals dropped dime on the bad guys would be an effective way of winning in Baghdad. I constantly had to tell them that such methods have never worked and wont work here either. Some of them just couldnt believe that. It revealed a drastic lack of training where it is (as always) needed most: at the soldier level.

    Hysterical humor item: an ad by the United Nations Foundation in Foreign Policy magazine boasted that the UN "helped 8.2 million Iraqis make it to the polls" in 2005. Yeah...not so much. I dont remember seeing many blue helmets on the streets. The shamefully under-reported truth is this: the amazing turn out and security of the referendum was 99% the accomplishment of the Iraqi people and the Iraqi Army and Police.
    "The Infantry’s primary role is close combat, which may occur in any type of mission, in any theater, or environment. Characterized by extreme violence and physiological shock, close combat is callous and unforgiving. Its dimensions are measured in minutes and meters, and its consequences are final." - Paragraph 1-1, FM 3-21.8: Infantry Rifle PLT and SQD.

    - M.A. Holzbach

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by CPT Holzbach
    It revealed a drastic lack of training where it is (as always) needed most: at the soldier level.
    Training is not the problem in this area; it is the socialization of the particular age/generation/era.
    Last edited by GorTex6; 11-16-2005 at 09:58 PM.

  3. #23
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    Default Developing Iraq’s Security Sector: The CPA’s Experience

    Very recent history, but a good read, in this new product from RAND:

    Developing Iraq’s Security Sector: The CPA’s Experience
    Soon after the coalition’s occupation of Iraq began in April 2003, it became evident that prewar assumptions about the security situation that would follow the ouster of Saddam Hussein had been unduly optimistic. The environment was not benign—in fact, it was deteriorating. Iraqi security forces had largely disintegrated, and those that remained were incapable of responding to rising criminality and political violence. In this environment, the coalition confronted three security imperatives: (1) to restore order and neutralize insurgents and terrorists; (2) to rebuild Iraqi security forces, which could eventually take on responsibility for Iraq’s security; and (3) to build security sector institutions, such as national security management institutions, the interior and defense ministries, and the justice sector, to ensure that the Iraqi security sector could be an effective bulwark for a democratic Iraq in the future.

    At the time that the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) handed over authority to the Iraqi Interim Government (IIG) on June 28, 2004, it was clear that the coalition had made little progress in the first task. Insurgent and terrorist violence was escalating, organized crime was flourishing, and the security situation was threatening both the political transition and the reconstruction program. The coalition’s record on the second and third tasks, however, is somewhat less simply categorized. From April 2003, the coalition embarked on efforts to rapidly field Iraqi security forces and to build security sector institutions. This effort was broad in scope, but its implementation was patchy, its results were varying, and its ultimate success or failure remains difficult to determine.

    Significant analysis has focused on the inability of the coalition to adequately counter political violence and crime in post-Saddam Iraq. There has also been considerable discussion about the coalition’s effort to develop Iraqi security forces. The matter of institutionbuilding, however, has been largely ignored by observers and policymakers; it is often seen as a long-term issue that is too far removed from immediate security needs. But the three efforts are interdependent: Iraq’s future security depends on its indigenous security forces, and these forces’ success and sustainability depend on the institutions that support them. This report concerns itself with the efforts to build both forces and institutions in Iraq. It provides a historical record of the coalition’s experience and seeks, insofar as is possible at this early stage, to draw lessons from the successes and failures of that experience.

  4. #24
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    CSIS just published a report looking at the same topic from a different perspective: The Iraq War and Its Lessons for Developing Local Forces
    Iraq, like so many other serious Post-WWII insurgencies, shows that successful counterinsurgency means having or creating a local partner that can take over from US forces and that can govern. Both Vietnam and Iraq show the US cannot win an important counterinsurgency campaign alone. The US will always be dependent on the people in the host country, and usually on local and regional allies. And to some extent, will be dependent on the quality of its operations in the UN, in dealing with traditional allies and in diplomacy. If the US can’t figure out a way to have or create such an ally, and fight under these conditions, a counterinsurgency conflict may well not be worth fighting.

    This means the US must do far more than creating effective allied forces. In most cases, it find a ways to help its partners reshape their process of politics and governance so that the development of security forces is matched by the steady development of governance, and a matching civil presence and the provision of effective government services.

  5. #25
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    Default Lessons Learned in Iraq Show Up in Army Classes

    21 Jan. Washington Post - Lessons Learned in Iraq Show Up in Army Classes by Tom Ricks.

    A fundamental change overtaking the Army is on display in classrooms across this base above the Missouri River. After decades of being told that their job was to close in on and destroy the enemy, officers are being taught that sometimes the best thing might be not to attack but to co-opt the enemy, perhaps by employing him, or encouraging him to desert, or by drawing him into local or national politics.

    It is a new focus devoted to one overarching topic: counterinsurgency, putting down an armed and political campaign against a government, the U.S. military's imperative in Iraq.

    Officers studying at the Army's Command and General Staff College here are flocking to elective courses on the subject, with three times as many enrolled this year as last. Soon the Army will require a block of instruction in counterinsurgency for all of the 1,000 or so majors who attend the college each year.

    In an adjacent institution, the elite School of Advanced Military Studies, where the Army trains what are known colloquially as its "Jedi knight" planners, 31 of 78 student monographs this year were devoted to counterinsurgency or "stability operations," compared with "only a couple" two years ago, said Col. Kevin Benson, the school's director. In the college bookstore, copies of a 1964 book, "Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice" by David Galula, a French army officer who fought in North Africa, are piled on a cart and selling swiftly...

    The new emphasis on studying how to respond to guerrilla-like campaigns underscores how the Army has been tempered, even chastened, by three years of fighting an unexpectedly difficult war in Iraq.

    The air of hubris that some Army officers displayed just a few years ago, after victories in Panama, Bosnia, Haiti, Kosovo and Afghanistan (and an outcome in Somalia that they blamed on their civilian overseers in the Clinton administration) has dissipated, replaced by a sense that they have a lot to learn about how to operate effectively in Iraq, and about the cultures and languages there and in other likely hot spots...

    "What we're trying to do is change the culture, to modify that culture, that solving the problem isn't just a tactical problem of guns and bombs and maneuver," said retired Army Col. Clinton J. Ancker III, director of the "doctrine"-writing office here that defines how the Army does what it does. He is involved in an effort to restructure the Army's "interim" manual on insurgency, which some insiders see as a mediocre stopgap.

    Unusually, the Army and the Marines are collaborating on the new manual and also asking for input from the British army, which has had centuries of experience in places such as Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Conscious that it largely walked away from counterinsurgency after the Vietnam War -- the subject was not mentioned in the mid-1970s version of the Army's key fighting manual -- the service now is trying to ensure that the mistake is not repeated...

  6. #26
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    Most of all, they said, the key to victory is not defeating the enemy but winning the support of Iraqis and making the insurgents irrelevant.
    ........
    Last edited by GorTex6; 01-21-2006 at 08:37 AM.

  7. #27
    Council Member Stratiotes's Avatar
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    Default Makes sense

    It makes sense. Why would we ever want to limit actions to only one form?

    Sun Tzu says, "... the skillful leader subdues the enemy's troops without any fighting..."

    And,

    "[T]o win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill."
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  8. #28
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    Default Destroyin the enemy

    Destroying the enemy and achieving victory still works, but it does not always take a kinetic form. When you read Bill Roggio and and Michael Yon's observations you see that US forces are already interacting with the locals and working with the shieks, building relationships that are helpful to the mission of destroying the enemy. Operations around Ramadi reflect this policy and when al Qaeda sends a human bomb into a line of police recruits, the people know who is responsible. It is al Qaeda that is losing the hearts and minds battle in Iraq.

    But the kinetic operations till have their place and the Iraqis in Western Anbar seem glad that US and Iraqi forces removed the enemy from their cities. Some may still be lurking in the weeks and allies, but because of our work with the Iraqis and the Iraqi forces, our intelligence is improving and the enemy is having more trouble hiding his oeprations and resources.

    Take a look at Michael Yon's latest post on Operation Iraqi Children. The link is on my blog in a Friday post.

    It is a mistake to underestimate the intelligence of our military in Iraq. The enemy has made that mistake, but we should not repeat it. While the enemy in Iraq has been resourceful, his resourcefulness is not necessiarily the result of mistakes made by out forces our our prewar planning. One of the things that makes wars difficult is that unlike other productions, your enemy thinks and responds to your actions. You beat him by doing a better job of thinking and responding to his.

  9. #29
    DDilegge
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    Default Ooda Loop...

    Quote Originally Posted by Merv Benson
    It is a mistake to underestimate the intelligence of our military in Iraq. The enemy has made that mistake, but we should not repeat it. While the enemy in Iraq has been resourceful, his resourcefulness is not necessiarily the result of mistakes made by out forces our our prewar planning. One of the things that makes wars difficult is that unlike other productions, your enemy thinks and responds to your actions. You beat him by doing a better job of thinking and responding to his.
    Sometimes called the strategy of the fighter pilot thanks to Col. John Boyd. The following is from the LexNotes web site:

    It is strange that John Boyd should be unknown. His ideas have been profiled in a plethora of publications, including Forbes, Fortune, Time, The Economist, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Dallas Morning News, and The Los Angeles Times. (OODA: Col. Boyd's description of the OODA Loop as derived from his original briefing slides) "Carried into the private sector, [Boyd's theories have] been adopted and adapted by businesses such as Toyota, General Electric and Wal-Mart." (Dale Eisman, Air Force Col. John R. Boyd: The man who shaped the military, The Virginian-Pilot, December 9, 2002.) Just this past summer, Fast Company carried an article saying Boyd, "focused his tenacious intellect on something grander, an expression of agility that, for him and others, became a consuming passion: the OODA loop ... an elegant framework for creating competitive advantage." (Keith H. Hammonds, The Strategy of the Fighter Pilot, Fast Company, Issue 59, page 98, June 2002.) Hammonds says Boyd "enjoyed distinctive unpopularity in official Pentagon circles. But even among critics, his OODA loop was much harder to dismiss. The concept is just as powerful when applied to business." Google "john boyd" "ooda loop" and you'll have a few days of reading ahead of you. Google just "ooda loop" and the reading expands to a week or more.

    Boyd was not only a pilot who gave the enemy fits in Korea. Nor was he only the first person ever to codify air-to-air combat techniques. Nor was he only "the original Top Gun" teaching air-to-air combat at the Fighter Weapons School, Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. Not was he only the pilot nicknamed "40-Second" Boyd because of his standing challenge to all comers: Starting from a position of disadvantage, he'd have his jet on their tail within 40 seconds, or he'd pay out $40. Legend has it that he never lost. Nor was he only the Georgia Institute of Technology student of thermodynamics who applied his knowledge as a fighter pilot to create his Energy-Maneuverability Theory that gave us the F-16. Small, cheap and simple, the F-16 used only enough technology to make it more efficient -- fly-by-wire control systems to save the weight of hydraulics, one engine to keep it small, cut costs and make it hard to target. He had to design it clandestinely because the military-industrial complex did not want cheap weapons just because they were effective. "It was one of the most audacious plots ever hatched against a military service and it was done under the noses of men who, if they had the slightest idea of what it was about, not only would have stopped it instantly, but would have cut orders reassigning Boyd to the other side of the globe." (Biographer Robert Coram quoted by Dale Eisman, Air Force Col. John R. Boyd: The man who shaped the military, The Virginian-Pilot, December 9, 2002.) Nor was he only the commander of a top-secret intelligence center in Thailand so sensitive that for the first three years of its operation it did not officially exist. Nor was he only a leading voice in the post-Vietnam War military reform movement. After rewriting the air combat rulebook, he began looking at the broader flaws in U.S. military theory.

    Boyd's OODA Loop is the product of a singular, half-century-long autodidactic journey through the realms of science, history, and moral philosophy. He devoured the writings of Heisenberg and Newton, and he read thousands of books, journal articles, and newspapers. Boyd studied warfare from the beginning of time, engaging history's strategists such as Hannibal, Belisarius, Genghis Khan and von Clausewitz to find the vulnerabilities of their ideas. The only theoretician Boyd did not attack was Sun Tzu, author of the oldest book on war. Instead he used contemporary ideas from diverse disciplines such as mathematics, physics, anthropology, biology, economics, and philosophy to update and reaffirm Sun Tzu's work.

    The acronym OODA represents Observe-Orient-Decide-Act. Boyd's biographer, Robert Coram, says, "Simply rendered, the OODA loop is a blueprint for the manoeuvre tactics that allow one to attack the mind of an opponent, to unravel its commander even before a battle begins." (Robert Coram , Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War, Little Brown & Company: 2002. ISBN 0316881465. Amazon sales rank at time of writing, 102) The target is not the troops or weapons of the enemy. The target certainly is not the civilians of the enemy. "In Boyd's notion of conflict, the target is always your opponent's mind," says Grant Hammond, director of the Center for Strategy and Technology at the Air War College and author of The Mind of War: John Boyd and American Security (Smithsonian Institution Press, 2001). Victory comes by destroying an opponent's frame of reference, not necessarily by destroying so much of the opponent's materiel or personnel...

  10. #30
    Council Member Stratiotes's Avatar
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    Default Boyd

    Off topic a bit but I have to mention _Boyd the Fighter Pilot who Changed the Art of War_ by Robert Coram, ISBN: 0316796883.

    It is a great introduction to Boyd's life and work. I have a good friend who president of a company that teaches law enforcement and military - he is himself a former Navy SEAL. He once said to me, "The OODA cycle is the holy grail of combat." I think he is right on the money.
    Mark
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  11. #31
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    Default Fighting Ourselves in Falluja

    23 New York Times Commentary - Fighting Ourselves in Falluja by Bing West.

    The persistence of the insurgency in Iraq has divided America in a way not seen since Vietnam. Now the blame game among the principals has begun. The former presidential envoy to Iraq, L. Paul Bremer III, has written in his new memoir that he informed President Bush that the military did not have "a strategy to win."

    Quite. The lesson the Pentagon should learn from Iraq is to avoid another L. Paul Bremer. This is less a reflection on Mr. Bremer, who accurately described himself as "the American viceroy" in Iraq and "the president's man," than on the position he and the American military commanders in Iraq were placed in by the White House's failure to put one person in charge.

    In 1967, when confusion among military and civilian officials in Vietnam was undermining the war effort, President Lyndon B. Johnson placed all civilian reconstruction and security functions under the top general, William Westmoreland, insuring unity of command under Westmoreland's successor Creighton Abrams. Confronting similar confusion in Iraq, President Bush unfortunately assigned to the military the responsibility for security but gave Mr. Bremer the authority to shape, recruit, train and finance the Iraqi military and police.

    This disunity of command reached its tragic apex in the spring of 2004, during what Mr. Bremer calls "the most critical crisis of the occupation." When four American contractors were killed and their bodies mutilated in Falluja on March 31, Mr. Bremer joined with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Gen. John Abizaid, the commander of American forces, in ordering the fractious city seized.

    Five days later, however, Mr. Bremer changed his mind after Sunni members of the Iraqi Governing Council threatened to quit in protest. He prevailed on General Abizaid to order the Marine battalions that were advancing through Falluja to halt. Mr. Bremer acknowledged that this "temporary cessation of offensive action" would be "rough on the military."

    Secretary Rumsfeld, for his part, disagreed with the halt and urged General Abizaid to finish the attack. But as the military prepared to end things quickly, Mr. Bremer changed his mind about the "temporary" cessation. He told President Bush that the assault would "collapse the entire political process"; the president sided with his viceroy and told General Abizaid "to let the political situation there develop."

    Develop it did. The insurgents' morale soared and their defenses toughened...

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    This is not the first time Boyd has been mentioned on this board

    He also stated that there were three other levels to war: Physical, Psychological, and moral. Moral being the strongest and physical the weakest. This is key to understanding the moral weaponry of guerrilla warfare(ie david vs goliath) and the inverse relationship of physical and moral actions.
    Last edited by GorTex6; 01-24-2006 at 06:17 PM.

  13. #33
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    Default U.S. - U.K. Split in Iraq?

    The 12 March issue of the London Daily Telegraph contains several items on this subject...

    The Fatal Divide at Heart of the Coalition commentary by Max Hastings.

    ...There is a widespread belief in both British special forces and line regiments that American tactics are heavy-handed and counter-productive; that firepower continues to be used as a substitute for a "hearts and minds" policy; that local people will never be persuaded to support Coalition forces unless Americans, in uniform and out, treat ordinary Iraqis vastly better than they do today.

    Historical parallels should be cited cautiously. But it is impossible to study any informed critique - including some written by Americans - of operations in Iraq without recalling the Vietnam debacle. There, too, most Americans treated ordinary Vietnamese with contempt, whatever their political allegiance. American convoys forced Vietnamese vehicles off the road, killed peasant livestock with impunity, brought down fire on suspected enemy positions heedless of civilians in the target zone, and treated even educated, professional Vietnamese with condescension.

    All this is being repeated in Iraq, with predictable and identical consequences. Iraqis feel a bitter resentment towards foreign troops, whom few would call liberators without irony. US special forces are perceived as behaving, if anything, worse than line combat units because they have a wider and more aggressive mandate, an intensely macho ethos, and less accountability....

    In fairness, we should acknowledge that when Britain was "top nation" in the last days of empire, the British Army was sometimes less good at "hearts and minds" than we delude ourselves. Things happened in Kenya during the Mau Mau insurgency, in Cyprus, Aden and elsewhere that would today result in an orgy of war crimes trials.

    Counter-insurgency experts and many special forces officers of all nationalities would assert that it is impossible to fight a campaign of the kind being waged in Iraq with completely clean hands. The enemy strives to goad or deceive Coalition forces into actions that will harm innocents. In Northern Ireland, the British Army learned over 30 years how hard it is to fight insurgents without alienating the civil population.

    In Iraq, the problem is multiplied many times by the gulf of language and culture, and by the fact that the declared allied aims are probably unattainable. With wholly inadequate forces on the ground, the Americans and British are striving to hold the country together as a unitary state; to restore economic and social activity; and to enable local forces to provide security against criminality as well as terrorism. All this, in place where historically law and order has been enforced exclusively by terror, torture and summary execution.

    There is a further dimension, even more fundamental. From the day the first American forces crossed the border into Iraq in 2003, neither they nor their government have resolved the issue of whether they are there to serve Iraqi interests, or those of the United States. Whatever Washington may say, most Americans think they are working for their own country...

    It is often justly said that the US army respects the British, and in particular our special forces. But mass matters, and we do not have it. There is no way of getting around this. If Britain, with its tiny armed forces, chooses to engage alongside the US in Iraq or anywhere else, we should never again delude ourselves - as have so many British prime ministers - that the mere fact of throwing a few chips on the table will enable us to call the turn of the wheel.

    Reading all that I have written above, I dislike it because British bleating about our position vis a vis the United States sounds so unattractive. There is a case for putting up and shutting up, acknowledging that we are in Iraq whether we like it or not, and should simply persevere.

    Yet are the things true, said by people like Ben Griffin and John Geddes? The answer is almost certainly "Yes". They are what make it so hard to be optimistic about Iraq and what our forces are trying to do there, hanging on to American coat tails.
    SAS Soldier Quits Army in Disgust at 'Illegal' American Tactics in Iraq by Sean Rayment.

    An SAS soldier has refused to fight in Iraq and has left the Army over the "illegal" tactics of United States troops and the policies of coalition forces.

    After three months in Baghdad, Ben Griffin told his commander that he was no longer prepared to fight alongside American forces.
    'I Didn't Join the British Army to Conduct American Foreign Policy' by Sean Rayment.

    As a trooper in the Special Air Service's counter-terrorist team - the black-clad force that came to the world's attention during the Iranian Embassy siege in 1980 - Ben Griffin was at the pinnacle of his military career.

    He had already served in Northern Ireland, Macedonia and Afghanistan as a member of the Parachute Regiment, and his sharp mind, natural fitness and ability to cope with the stress of military operations had singled him out as ideal special forces material...

    Unknown to any of his SAS colleagues at their Hereford-based unit, however, Mr Griffin, then 25, had been harbouring doubts over the "legality" of the war. Despite recognising that Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator and posed a threat, albeit a small one, to the West, he did not believe that the case for war had been made. The events he witnessed during his three-month tour in Baghdad, and especially the conduct of the American troops, would force him into making the most difficult decision of his life.

    During a week's leave in March 2005 he told his commanding officer in a formal interview that he had no intention of returning to Iraq because he believed that the war was morally wrong. Moreover, he said he believed that Tony Blair and the Government had lied to the country and had deceived every British serviceman and woman serving in Iraq...
    Your thoughts please... Disgruntled soldier + "if it bleeds it leads" liberal press or the tip of an iceberg?
    Last edited by SWJED; 03-12-2006 at 01:03 PM.

  14. #34
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    On the SAS guys, my guess would be you will see them again as contractors. I have talked to friends that reported they are leaving in droves for better money. Either that or they are closet libs.

    There was an article in the english press a while back about their Spec Ops guys leaving in bunches.

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    Default Splitters

    What seems to be missing from these stories is context. For the most part the Brits have their area of operation and the US has its, which it is rapidly turning over to Iraqi forces. It does not give much detail of joint operations, but instead seems to rely on scuttlbutt and hearsay.

    What these people are suggesting is also inconsistent with reports from both bloggers and reporters who have been embedded with US forces in Iraq. It also is inconsistent with reports of the close working relationships between Iraqi forces and their US advisors, where most have reported a strong sense of cooperation and a warm working relationship.

    I suspect some lowlevel rivalry compounded by left wingers in London who want to lose the war and would like to blame such a loss on the US.

  16. #36
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    FYI, a quick Bio on the author of this new SAS book is below. I just cut and pasted this from a Brit book seller. I accidently deleted the seller but I believe it was countrybooks.com or something along those lines.

    [/B]This item has not been published yet
    You can pre-order a copy now

    Highway to Hell
    by Geddes, John
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    Published Price: £17.99
    Our Price: £14.39
    You Save: £3.60 (20%)
    ISBN: 1846050626
    Published By: Century

    Publication Date: 06 April 2006

    Format: Cloth / Hardback, 326pages



    Author Information
    John Geddes fought in the Falklands War with the Parachute Regiment and saw action in the ferocious Battle of Goose Green. He was then selected for the SAS where he served in Air Troop with distinction. He is a veteran of covert operations worldwide including the Balkans where he intervened to prevent a massacre and ethnic cleansing , Northern Ireland and Africa. His last tour in the SAS was in South America where he conducted devastating, lethal undercover operations against cocaine cartels. Since leaving the SAS as a Warrant Officer he has been involved in security work in the Congo, Nigeria, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. He now runs a company training personnel mainly for security work in Iraq and Afghanistan. Alun Rees has worked as a correspondent for the Daily Express in the Middle East, Africa, South America, the Indian sub-continent and Northern Ireland.He was the only correspondent to file from the Scud attacks in Israel and from Kuwait and Iraq during the Gulf War. Home assignments include the Brighton Bombing, the Brixton Riots, the Hungerford Massacre, the Air India bomb outrage,the Yorkshire Ripper case and the Fred and Rose West case. He has also been named Campaigning Journalist of the Year in the British Press Awards and was the first journalist to reveal the whale hunting controversy on the Faroe Islands.

  17. #37
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    Default Dash to Baghdad Left Top U.S. Generals Divided

    13 March New York Times - Dash to Baghdad Left Top U.S. Generals Divided by Michael Gordon and LtGen Bernard Trainor (USMC Ret.).

    The war was barely a week old when Gen. Tommy R. Franks threatened to fire the Army's field commander.

    From the first days of the invasion in March 2003, American forces had tangled with fanatical Saddam Fedayeen paramilitary fighters. Lt. Gen. William S. Wallace, who was leading the Army's V Corps toward Baghdad, had told two reporters that his soldiers needed to delay their advance on the Iraqi capital to suppress the Fedayeen threat in the rear.

    Soon after, General Franks phoned Lt. Gen. David D. McKiernan, the commander of allied land forces, to warn that he might relieve General Wallace....

    The firing was averted after General McKiernan flew to meet General Franks. But the episode revealed the deep disagreements within the United States high command about the Iraqi military threat and what would be required to defeat it....

    The paramilitary Fedayeen were numerous, well-armed, dispersed throughout the country, and seemingly determined to fight to the death. But while many officers in the field assessed the Fedayeen as a dogged foe, General Franks and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld saw them as little more than speed bumps on the way to Baghdad. Three years later, Iraq has yet to be subdued. Many of the issues that have haunted the Bush administration about the war — the failure to foresee a potential insurgency and to send sufficient troops to stabilize the country after Saddam Hussein's government was toppled — were foreshadowed early in the conflict. How some of the crucial decisions were made, the behind-the-scenes debate about them and early cautions about a sustained threat have not been previously known.

    • A United States Marines intelligence officer warned after the bloody battle at Nasiriya, the first major fight of the war, that the Fedayeen would continue to mount attacks after the fall of Baghdad since many of the enemy fighters were being bypassed in the race to the capital.


    • In an extraordinary improvisation, Ahmad Chalabi, the Iraqi exile leader who was a Pentagon favorite, was flown to southern Iraq with hundreds of his fighters as General Franks's command sought to put an "Iraqi face" on the invasion; the plan was set in motion without the knowledge of top administration officials, including Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and George J. Tenet, the director of central intelligence.


    • Instead of sending additional troops to impose order after the fall of Baghdad, Mr. Rumsfeld and General Franks canceled the deployment of the First Cavalry Division...


    • Early Resistance Wasn't Foreseen...


    • Relying on Speed Over Manpower...


    • Seeking an Iraqi Face for the War...


    • Harsh Criticism From a General...


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    Default The war gaming battle in the middle of the offensive

    I think the reporters thought Gen. Wallace's statements were more significant thatn they were in reality, and that is why he ultimately kept his job. I comment on the article at length here.

    In Rick Atkinsons book on his experience with the 101st in the invasion (He was one of the reporters who wrote about Wallace's wargaming statement.) He later tells Wallace about the support he is getting from editors in Washington, to which Wallace dryly responds, "I'll put it on my resume."

    Ranting Prof also makes a good point. The original kerfuffle was caused by the NY Times leaving out a key qualifer in Gen. Wallace's statment.

    "The enemy we're fighting is a bit different than the one we war-gamed against, because of these paramilitary forces," General Wallace had said to The New York Times and The Washington Post. "We knew they were here, but we did not know how they would fight." Asked whether the fighting increased the chances of a longer war than forecast by some military planners, he responded, "It's beginning to look that way."
    (Emphasis added.)
    Last edited by Merv Benson; 03-13-2006 at 04:45 PM.

  19. #39
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default Baghdad Tet

    15 March National Review commentary - Baghdad Tet by James Robbins.

    ...Imagine news coverage of al Qaeda fighters in the American embassy. The story line would be irresistible — Tet Offensive, the Sequel. The press is already fixated on comparing the Iraq war to Vietnam, despite the numerous and significant differences. An attack like this, a surprise urban guerilla assault on a key symbol of American power, would immediately be cast as a replay of the January 31, 1968, Viet Cong attack on the U.S. embassy in Saigon.

    Then, 19 VC sappers blew a hole in the wall surrounding the embassy grounds and shot down the guards inside the gate. A sharp firefight ensued, and enemy forces failed to occupy the embassy proper; but early erroneous reports, relayed by Asoociated Press reporter Peter Arnett, credited the VC with taking the first floor of the building. Moreover, while the attackers had been either killed or captured within hours of the assault, film of the attack ran and reran on network news programs, giving the impression of a much more significant action. Furthermore, the press quickly credited the enemy with a "psychological victory," even though they had failed even to come close to meeting their military objectives. In this respect, the Embassy attack was a microcosm of the entire Tet Offensive...

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    Council Member Stu-6's Avatar
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    Default

    I agree Wallace’s comments were much ado about nothing, but it is the nature of modern society to sensationalize things like that.

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