Page 3 of 15 FirstFirst 1234513 ... LastLast
Results 41 to 60 of 293

Thread: Green on Blue: causes and responses (merged thread)

  1. #41
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    3,189

    Default

    Isn't there a wrestling sport in Afghanistan?
    Maybe wrestling could be introduced as some kind of duel for honour.
    Whoever feels offended could allowed to try to humiliate his offender in a public fight.
    In cases of actual offending actions, our superior officer could order our offender to lose the fight.

    I know, a military bureaucracy wouldn't even come close to imagine to institute such a thing.

  2. #42
    Council Member TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Woodbridge, VA
    Posts
    1,117

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Isn't there a wrestling sport in Afghanistan?
    Maybe wrestling could be introduced as some kind of duel for honour.
    Whoever feels offended could allowed to try to humiliate his offender in a public fight.
    In cases of actual offending actions, our superior officer could order our offender to lose the fight.

    I know, a military bureaucracy wouldn't even come close to imagine to institute such a thing.
    Disruptive thinking ... I like it.

    I actually believe something along this line may be what is required.
    "I can change almost anything ... but I can't change human nature."

    Jon Osterman/Dr. Manhattan
    ---

  3. #43
    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Berkshire County, Mass.
    Posts
    896

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    That was interesting. One of the passages was this "The intercommunal wars that had spiraled out of control since the mujahideen military victory in April 1992 are in fact the virulent manifestations of the century-long policies of internal colonialism carried out by Pashtun-dominated governments, supported in large measure by decades of Cold War politics in the region."
    Well, Nazif is an Uzbek, so of course he would say that. As a non-expert on such things I labor under the impression that a big part of the appeal of Karzai for the West was the package deal of a Pashtun head of government (to placate Afghanistan’s majority ethnic group) with acceptably moderate (by Western standards) political leanings. A formulation like that doesn’t take into account the fact that there is often factionalism within ethnic groups, as is the case with the Pastun.

    Again, my impression as a non-expert.
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

  4. #44
    Council Member carl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Denver on occasion
    Posts
    2,460

    Default

    Ganulv: Uzbekian (spell check tells me that is not a word but if I use enough maybe I can make it one) chauvinism may have something to do with his observation but it seems to fit the very broad historical outline.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  5. #45
    Council Member carl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Denver on occasion
    Posts
    2,460

    Default

    Curmudgeon and Fuchs and anybody else:

    Do either one of you know if these types of murders have been committed against Indian or Turkish troops and trainers in Afghanistan? It would be interesting to see that data if it exists at all. It would be interesting not from the standpoint of religion but to see if non-western troops are provoking the same reactions.

    Also it has been my experience and observation that the most important thing in not pissing off the locals in other countries isn't knowledge of the cultural mores and practices, nor even knowledge of the language. The most important thing is that you conduct yourself, for lack of a better word, as a gentleman. Respectful attitude, friendlyness (sic), punctiliousness about courtesy, restraint etc are the most important things. If the locals see you acting like that they will cut you a tremendous amount of slack on all the gaffes you WILL make and teach you how not to make them again. In other words, you have to conduct yourself in another person's country as you would conduct yourself as a guest in another person's house.

    Given the culture of the American military, of which I know only a little, can that be inculcated into the 20 year olds by the 30 year olds? I know people can do it, the Gurkas I've read are real good at that. But can the American military do that as of this date?
    Last edited by carl; 08-19-2012 at 05:54 PM.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  6. #46
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    3,189

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Curmudgeon and Fuchs:

    Do either one of you know if these types of murders have been committed against Indian or Turkish troops and trainers in Afghanistan? It would be interesting to see that data if it exists at all. It would be interesting not from the standpoint of religion but to see if non-western troops are provoking the same reactions.
    I have no statistics, but I expect that whatever statistics exist would lack statistic significance because of the rather small quantities (personnel x years) of such troops there.

  7. #47
    Council Member TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Woodbridge, VA
    Posts
    1,117

    Default

    I saw Americans, Germans, and Italians. Did not see any Turks or Indians.

    The report cited is pretty interesting.

    ANSF members recalled a rather large number of social altercations that they self- reported as near-fratricide murder incidents (N = 14). These often entailed perceptions of U.S. Soldiers disrespecting them or civilians (especially by cursing), where they deemed a home search as a theological violation, or where Afghan women were not perceived as being accorded privacy and/or proper respect (often, this meant not being seen at all). These findings add further credence to the concern that fratricide-murder risks have become fairly common within the last nineteen months, and often stem from personal and social altercations and cultural clashes rather than from insurgent infiltration.
    A crisis of trust and cultural incompatibility

    So if these things were the cause the assumption would be that Turks or Indians (at least Muslim Indians) would not make these mistakes.

    I get the impression from the report that there was more depth to what was going on ... that the ANSF were suffering from a lack of pride in themselves and their social status. If they had to stand by as American's did things they felt strongly were wrong while the people they were supposed to be protecting begged them to help, then it is easy to see how the resentment at their own inability could turn to rage. I could be projecting, but the report is at least worth scanning.
    Last edited by TheCurmudgeon; 08-19-2012 at 06:10 PM.
    "I can change almost anything ... but I can't change human nature."

    Jon Osterman/Dr. Manhattan
    ---

  8. #48
    Council Member TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Woodbridge, VA
    Posts
    1,117

    Default

    Carl,

    In regards to your "gentlemen" comment:

    ANSF members further remarked that they thought U.S. Soldiers were uncouth and ignorant in the proper mannerism of Afghan cultural behaviors, particularly Pashtun (this study was completed in a largely Pashtun region). They found their lack of modesty infuriating. They often stated that when they tried to correct U.S. Soldiers’ behaviors, they were reproached through verbal abuse, insults and shouted profanities, or were simply ignored, with the soldiers continuing with the same obnoxious behaviors. Participants often complained that they have had their fill with such abrasive personalities and offensive and vulgar behaviors and that only their orders not to take action has prevented more serious confrontations with U.S. Soldiers. Some said that retraining those that commit these offenses would do no good; that they were born with personality defects that lack decency. These numerous complaints across focus groups indicate that vastly improved cultural sensitivity and human relations (consideration of others) education programs need to be implemented for pre-deployment training as well as during regular ongoing training. Instruction should include how offensive arrogance, insults, bullying and profanity are to Afghans. Leadership at all levels must enforce these standards of conduct. It also seems quite obvious that certain personality types are not suitable for fulfilling the requirements of a counter-insurgency strategy. Those manifesting the abrasive characteristics cited in this study cause great harm with ANSF and Afghan civilian relations; they do not contribute to the mission, they jeopardize it. Therefore, if satisfactory ‘COIN attitude’ adjustments (i.e., a civil demeanor) cannot be instilled during training, then such soldiers should not be deployed. (Recruiting standards addressing such personality traits might also be implemented.) They will be and have been a liability. It only takes the actions of a very few of these types to completely negate everyone else’s work.
    emphasis in original
    Last edited by TheCurmudgeon; 08-19-2012 at 06:19 PM.
    "I can change almost anything ... but I can't change human nature."

    Jon Osterman/Dr. Manhattan
    ---

  9. #49
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    3,189

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCurmudgeon View Post
    So if these things were the cause the assumption would be that Turks or Indians (at least Muslim Indians) would not make these mistakes.
    What's the share of Muslims in the Indian army?

    Their main threat is Muslim Pakistan, so Muslim units would probably be ill-motivated while mixed troops would be not very cohesive.

    The border with China could be guarded by Muslim Indian army troops, but said border is mountainous just as the critical sections of the border with Pakistan.


    Furthermore, "'Muslim' customs barely exist at all. What people perceive as 'Muslim' customs are usually regional / ethnical customs whose more oppressive parts are being 'justified' by reference to religion.

    Lots of people in Africa believe you need to cut off genitals from girls because of Muslim faith or they need to hide their faces when neither is true. Ironically, there's often a neighbouring ethnic with the same religion and different if not mirrored customs. Some tribes for example think that covering the face is a male privilege (IIRC the Imuhagh aka Touaregs).


    Besides, what would protect our occupation troops from the Muslim Indian sensibilities if the custom incompatibility was really about spiritual issues?
    Last edited by Fuchs; 08-19-2012 at 06:45 PM.

  10. #50
    Council Member TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Woodbridge, VA
    Posts
    1,117

    Default

    Fuchs

    Good point. My own ignorance showing.
    "I can change almost anything ... but I can't change human nature."

    Jon Osterman/Dr. Manhattan
    ---

  11. #51
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2,706

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Great speech, but, not true. At least according to the study referenced, and according to common sense.

    The reason you cited is political, Taliban noble resistance and all of that. These are murders. Murders are personal. You were a DA. You know that. People have things that they resent and those build up until they decide they have been dissed enough then they murder. There may be some merging there, resentment at the latest air strike gone awry or last night's raid that killed the wrong people (again) but those are still things that get to the murderer on a personal level. Not many commit a deeply personal act like murder because they don't like the way the constitution is written.

    But all that doesn't really matter too much. The murders are happening. Do you think Taliban & Co can use this pattern or exacerbate it and direct it?
    What is "murder" in an insurgency?

    Is it murder when we shoot a kid off his motorcycle for failing to slow down when we flash a light at him?

    Is it murder when a head of household rushes to see who is invading his home with an old Russian single-shot shotgun in hand, only to be cut in half by the lead man of a team looking for some HVT?

    Is it murder when an IED blows up non-combatants of any ilk?

    Comfortable civilian peacetime constructs of law and justice do not readily apply. To write off even most of these Green on Blue events as murders of individual and personal purpose and intent is, IMO, naive at best, and intentionally disingenuous at worst.

    They should be considered as yet another powerful metric of the inappropriate nature of our actions and the unlikelihood that current approaches and polices can produce the results we hope for.
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  12. #52
    Council Member carl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Denver on occasion
    Posts
    2,460

    Default

    Bob:

    Nice stump speechifying. You know what we are all talking about even if you don't approve and want to steer things in another direction.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  13. #53
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,154

    Default

    Carl raises a good point on the details of ISAF deaths; are the non-Western ISAF contributors, like Turkey (1300 men currently, there since 2003) and the very separate, now gone, Indian contingent suffering too?

    Wiki shows fourteen Turkish deaths, none from "green on blue", in fact none from hostilities:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coaliti...in_Afghanistan and http://icasualties.org/OEF/Index.aspx

    Neither show "green on blue" deaths separately alas.

    It appears the para-military Indian contingent had two deaths - when guarding the Kabul Embassy and none from the two deployed companies:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-Tibetan_Border_Police
    davidbfpo

  14. #54
    Council Member carl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Denver on occasion
    Posts
    2,460

    Default

    Fuchs:

    I have another question. Some of the displaced persons that my Mom knew and worked with here in the US in the 10 years or so after WWII said German troops were much better behaved than American troops. (This is not counting reprisals and thing like that.) They said that in the normal course of events they preferred having German troops in the area. I think I read that elsewhere also but can't remember where.

    Do you know if that is true? If it is, did specific training cover that or was it just a part of the overall system of discipline and training?
    Last edited by carl; 08-19-2012 at 07:20 PM.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  15. #55
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    3,189

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Fuchs:

    I have another question. Some of the displaced persons that my Mom knew and worked with here in the US in the 10 years or so after WWII said German troops were much better behaved than American troops. (This is not counting reprisals and thing like that.) They said that in the normal course of events they preferred having German troops in the area. I think I read that elsewhere also but can't remember where.

    Do you know if that is true? If it is, did specific training cover that or was it just a part of the overall system of discipline and training?
    The Wehrmacht grew to about nine million men, plus Waffen-SS half a million or more. Both were large enough to be bound to have both good and bad apples among their ranks.

    Moreover, the quality of a military unit is largely being determined by its commander. There's no reason to believe that an overall poorly-reputed army hasn't some nice units and no reason to believe that an overall well-reputed army hasn't some really stinking bad apple units.

    So an entirely well-mannered unit was probably the consequence of fine and well-intentioned leadership of that unit. The same applies to an entirely bad unit.


    Military organisations are highly authoritarian, and lots of psychological experiments (edit: example) have shown that many humans are incredibly obedient even to fake authority. Add in the power of enforcement of orders that a military bureaucracy has and it's easily visible how a commander can shape a unit to either evil or well-mannered. It's even possible within few weeks if the unit is a reservist unit or had previously been rather neutral on the good/evil scale.


    Last but not least, Nazi ideology (which was increasingly fed to troops beginning in 1942 because of the harshness of warfare in the East and possibly because the Wehrmacht had to compete with the expanding Waffen-SS for political favour) did not treat all foreign nationalities the same. The Dutch, English, Danish and Norwegians were considered almost equals, while even the allied Hungarians were looked down at (by ideologues) as supposed descendants of the Huns.


    That being said, the most likely candidate for well-reputed German units were probably Luftwaffe troops, for they did not act so much as enforcers of occupation as they did act as spenders. The typical problems involving Luftwaffe troops were probably about girls or booze.
    Last edited by Fuchs; 08-19-2012 at 07:47 PM.

  16. #56
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,154

    Default

    Fuchs asked:
    What's the share of Muslims in the Indian army?
    After sometime researching via Google it appears that:
    1) no official figures for today exist
    2) in 1947 Muslims accounted for 30-35% of the army
    3) 13% of Indians are Muslim
    4) reported in 2011-2012 3% of the army were Muslim, approx. 29k

    I find that a rather low number, especially since I've seen reports on locally recruited Kashmiri infantry units.

    As they say I know someone who should know, so will ask.
    davidbfpo

  17. #57
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Calcutta, India
    Posts
    1,124

    Default

    The whole issue hinges on the culture and mindset!

  18. #58
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Calcutta, India
    Posts
    1,124

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Fuchs asked:

    After sometime researching via Google it appears that:
    1) no official figures for today exist
    2) in 1947 Muslims accounted for 30-35% of the army
    3) 13% of Indians are Muslim
    4) reported in 2011-2012 3% of the army were Muslim, approx. 29k

    I find that a rather low number, especially since I've seen reports on locally recruited Kashmiri infantry units.

    As they say I know someone who should know, so will ask.
    You all don't understand the language, but try getting these translated.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3EHD...layer_embedded

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_M0S...layer_embedded

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26lC3...layer_embedded

  19. #59
    Council Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Calcutta, India
    Posts
    1,124

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    What's the share of Muslims in the Indian army?

    Their main threat is Muslim Pakistan, so Muslim units would probably be ill-motivated while mixed troops would be not very cohesive.

    The border with China could be guarded by Muslim Indian army troops, but said border is mountainous just as the critical sections of the border with Pakistan.


    Furthermore, "'Muslim' customs barely exist at all. What people perceive as 'Muslim' customs are usually regional / ethnical customs whose more oppressive parts are being 'justified' by reference to religion.

    Lots of people in Africa believe you need to cut off genitals from girls because of Muslim faith or they need to hide their faces when neither is true. Ironically, there's often a neighbouring ethnic with the same religion and different if not mirrored customs. Some tribes for example think that covering the face is a male privilege (IIRC the Imuhagh aka Touaregs).


    Besides, what would protect our occupation troops from the Muslim Indian sensibilities if the custom incompatibility was really about spiritual issues?
    There are units that are totally Muslim in the Indian Army as in the Grenadiers and Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry.

    There are many Muslim who have won the highest gallantry awards of the Indian Army.

    The Muslims of the Indian Army are as good as any other.

    In the Indian Army, the tradition is that all adhere to the religion and customs of the troops. Hence, it is not surprising to see non Muslim officers of a Muslim unit undertaking Ramzan and being on a fast and anyway, all have to attend the Mosque prayers.

    Likewise, I was in a 90% Buddhist unit and underwent all Buddhist religious customs and festivals since it was the majority religion.

    In the Indian Army where there is a mixed religious composition, we have an All Faith Temple.

    It was no big deal!

    And anyway, religion is the last thing on the mind when performing our duties!
    Last edited by Ray; 08-19-2012 at 08:03 PM.

  20. #60
    Council Member carl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Denver on occasion
    Posts
    2,460

    Default

    Ray:

    What would the reaction be of the NCOs and officers to troops from one unit taunting troops from another unit based upon religious or regional differences? Say guys from a predominantly Sikh unit making fun of Gurkas, though the question is not limited to those groups.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •