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Thread: Terrorist Targeting vs Military Targeting

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    Default Terrorist Targeting vs Military Targeting

    Fury at RAF Kamikaze plan
    By JOHN KAY
    APRIL 03, 2007


    RAF Top Guns were stunned last night after being asked to think of being Kamikaze pilots in the war on terror.

    Elite fliers were shocked into silence when a senior RAF chief said they should consider suicide missions as a last resort against terrorist targets.

    Air Vice Marshal David Walker put forward the attacks — like those flown by desperate Japanese pilots in World War Two — as a “worst case scenario” should they run out of ammo or their weapons failed.

    He asked aircrews at a conference: “Would you think it unreasonable if I ordered you to fly your aircraft into the ground in order to destroy a vehicle carrying a Taliban or al-Qaeda commander?”

    Such an order would mean certain death for a pilot who cost £6million to train — and the loss of a £50million jet.

    Last night pilots slammed the suggestion as “utter madness”. One — summing up a flabbergasted “After you, Sir” reaction — said: “I’m prepared to give it a go but only if the Air Vice Marshal shows me how to do it first.”
    Full text here:
    http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2007150271,00.html

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default Cheech and Chong

    I am reminded of a Cheech and Chong bit from the early 70s on this subject:

    the Japanese Admiral had just pitched the "glorious Kamikaze, Die for the Emporer" plan when a voice called out...

    "Honorable Admiral, Sir!?!"

    "yes, what is it?"

    "Honorable Admiral, Sir, you outta you F#$%ing Mind!"

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default April Fool or Kamikaze?

    I am sure the RAF senior officer did not speak on April Fools day, perhaps he meant to speak that day! If a junior officer had made such a comment, it could be dismissed as a hypothetical, but such a senior officer bizarre. Nearly as good as the reported SAS landing on an Argentinian airbase in the Falklands conflict, rejected by the "troopies" as nothing short of suicidal.

    davidbfpo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pragmatic Thinker View Post
    We as Americans value our lives and self-preservation is a common characterstic, so how do we defeat people who believe in an ideology that says it is acceptable and respected to strap on explosives or drive a vehicle laden with explosives into a crowd of people, or a convoy, or a public bus? I am not ready to blame the media for reporting it, the internet for allowing them to post the vidoes, nor am I going to blame foreign or military policy...this tactic is medieval and runs counter to our culture so what do you do?
    PT
    Many people find such bombing attacks morally reprehensible, yet have no qualms when much larger bombs are dropped from aircraft. Neither type of bombing attack is surgical and both types kill innocent bystanders. The only real difference is in the size of the bomb and the means of delivery. The Mujahideen lacked an air force but retained a limited bombing option. The Soviets had an air force and conducted large-scale bombing attacks throughout the war.

    Lester W. Grau
    "Afghan Guerrilla Warfare"

    http://www.amazon.com/Afghan-Guerril...8064546&sr=1-1

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    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default One BIG Difference

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarajevo071 View Post
    Many people find such bombing attacks morally reprehensible, yet have no qualms when much larger bombs are dropped from aircraft. Neither type of bombing attack is surgical and both types kill innocent bystanders. The only real difference is in the size of the bomb and the means of delivery. The Mujahideen lacked an air force but retained a limited bombing option. The Soviets had an air force and conducted large-scale bombing attacks throughout the war.

    Lester W. Grau
    "Afghan Guerrilla Warfare"

    http://www.amazon.com/Afghan-Guerril...8064546&sr=1-1
    We don't intentionally bomb non-combatants - suicide bombers do. End of story.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarajevo071 View Post
    Many people find such bombing attacks morally reprehensible, yet have no qualms when much larger bombs are dropped from aircraft. Neither type of bombing attack is surgical and both types kill innocent bystanders. The only real difference is in the size of the bomb and the means of delivery. The Mujahideen lacked an air force but retained a limited bombing option. The Soviets had an air force and conducted large-scale bombing attacks throughout the war.

    Lester W. Grau
    "Afghan Guerrilla Warfare"

    http://www.amazon.com/Afghan-Guerril...8064546&sr=1-1

    There is also the difference about aiming at innocent bystanders. Which the Soviets also did. And which was also generally regarded as morally reprehensible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarajevo071 View Post
    BTW, I will try to find email of Mr. Lester W. Grau so you can send him your comments (with which generally I do not disagree with you)... I am just a messenger here.
    Don't put yourself out. I've known Les for 15 years - and have his e-mail addy.

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    Council Member RTK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarajevo071 View Post
    I am happy to hear that. I all ready know that you are well connected and very well known, and that there are pool of smart, well educated and well mannered people here. I only hope you will finally understand my frustrations with your comments to me (sometimes I really see them like an biased attacks for no reason). Recently, almost on every my post.

    Just because we believe in deferent things or my lack of knowledge of English grammar (I never learn English in school, btw) that doesn't mean I wish you ill or that I am not smart or experienced... My hate for killers of innocent people or rapists, and for those who justify them or defend them, also coming from somewhere. I just hope you never went try that and that you never will.

    That's all I have to say on this... Wish you well.
    I'll say this. Collateral damages that have occured in the last 5 years are tragic. They are not intentional. Every effort is made to verify, coordinate, and cross check to ensure that innocent civilians are not made targets. Bad things happen in war. Mistakes are made so long as imperfect humans fight the fights. To infer they are intentional is slanderous at best.
    Example is better than precept.

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    Council Member RTK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarajevo071 View Post
    Yes. Generally you are right and I can agree with you. But there are also some other examples on intentional targeting, or targeting with no regards of civilians around. Enough examples to put me on defense. Those are cases I am referring to. I never said that ALL U.S. military targeting civilians without prejudice nor did I ever said that is military or political aim. That's in someone else's mind that they are projecting on me since I am not one of "them".

    You're right, there are some examples. And we're putting those people in jail for it.
    Example is better than precept.

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    Council Member RTK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarajevo071 View Post
    Whatever you say. All I know is news pieces that I am reading about soldiers getting "punished" ... But, what I know.

    Don't believe everything you read. From within the system, it's taken very seriously.
    Example is better than precept.

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    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Default Seriousluy, but seriously enough?

    Hi Ryan,

    Quote Originally Posted by RTK View Post
    Don't believe everything you read. From within the system, it's taken very seriously.
    There's an interesting problem that is running around in the infosphere - Americans are judged on a different scale. As a case in pint, I have been following the stories about friendly fire incidents that killed Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan. If we look at the first example, there is damnably clear evidence that it was not the pilots fault - it was a system screw up, but they got blamed (and penalized) for it. I think I can speak for most Canadians when I say we were frakin' PO'd when it happened and, on the whole, frustrated with the outcome.

    As a nation, we recognize that "Sierra happens" - as the saying goes. I think a lot of us were POd when we say the pilots used as, in our perception, scapegoats for a systemic failure.

    I Think what Sarajevo 071 is getting at is the perception rather than a logical examination of the problem. Does "collateral damage" happen? Sure. Is it on purpose? Rarely. Most importantly, how is this type of damage spun in the various press agencies and media outlets?

    Logically, someone who is "at fault" for killing civilians, but does so in ignorance and as a result of a systemic screwup is, under Western codes of honour, morality and law, not guilty. They get a slap on the wrist, but that is more of a CYA for the system. Under bother codes, regardless of their intention, they owe a blood debt which must be met. What I would like to see is a recognition of this blood debt and some form of culturally appropriate "payment". I'll point out that the pilots who killed 4 Canadians did this - our blutgelt was an apology and talking with the family.
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    Hi Ryan,



    There's an interesting problem that is running around in the infosphere - Americans are judged on a different scale. As a case in pint, I have been following the stories about friendly fire incidents that killed Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan. If we look at the first example, there is damnably clear evidence that it was not the pilots fault - it was a system screw up, but they got blamed (and penalized) for it. I think I can speak for most Canadians when I say we were frakin' PO'd when it happened and, on the whole, frustrated with the outcome.

    As a nation, we recognize that "Sierra happens" - as the saying goes. I think a lot of us were POd when we say the pilots used as, in our perception, scapegoats for a systemic failure.

    I Think what Sarajevo 071 is getting at is the perception rather than a logical examination of the problem. Does "collateral damage" happen? Sure. Is it on purpose? Rarely. Most importantly, how is this type of damage spun in the various press agencies and media outlets?

    Logically, someone who is "at fault" for killing civilians, but does so in ignorance and as a result of a systemic screwup is, under Western codes of honour, morality and law, not guilty. They get a slap on the wrist, but that is more of a CYA for the system. Under bother codes, regardless of their intention, they owe a blood debt which must be met. What I would like to see is a recognition of this blood debt and some form of culturally appropriate "payment". I'll point out that the pilots who killed 4 Canadians did this - our blutgelt was an apology and talking with the family.

    Marc:

    Excellent point. And you're both right. Here's my point. If A and B, then C.

    Humans run the system. Humans will never be perfect. Therefore, the system will never be perfect.
    Example is better than precept.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarajevo071 View Post
    Whatever you say. All I know is news pieces that I am reading about soldiers getting "punished" by garnishing wages, kicking them out of military (so they can go in private sector, make more money and kill with less control), getting "punished" by weeks or couple of months (WTF?!) in jail for murders and rapes, or simply being set free for this or that reasons... But, what I know.
    As a Army Officer that commanded a Cavalry Troop in Iraq I felt the need to provide some input to this post. During my 15 months in Iraq my Troopers did not conduct any of these types of indiscriminate or delibrate acts Sarajevo071 describes. The vast majority of American soldiers act within the rules of war and attempt to minimize civilian casualties even when the enemy delibrately places civilians in harms way to score propaganda victories by forcing the US to endanger them to defend themselves. The type of outrageous behavior Sarajevo071 points to occurs in many parts of the world and even occasionally in our Army. However, when it occurs in our Army the U.S. does puinish people - the 300+ years given to the first three soldiers convicted in the raping of a 14 year old in Iraq is proof of this.

    I apologize if some of this has already been stated - I only read the last few pages of the 14 pages involved in this discussion but felt compelled to provide my two cents based on the accusation that the US military is wantonly ignoring or allowing the type of activity Sarajevo071 points too.

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    Default No need to apologize...

    Quote Originally Posted by cmetcalf82 View Post
    As a Army Officer that commanded a Cavalry Troop in Iraq I felt the need to provide some input to this post. During my 15 months in Iraq my Troopers did not conduct any of these types of indiscriminate or delibrate acts Sarajevo071 describes. The vast majority of American soldiers act within the rules of war and attempt to minimize civilian casualties even when the enemy delibrately places civilians in harms way to score propaganda victories by forcing the US to endanger them to defend themselves. The type of outrageous behavior Sarajevo071 points to occurs in many parts of the world and even occasionally in our Army. However, when it occurs in our Army the U.S. does puinish people - the 300+ years given to the first three soldiers convicted in the raping of a 14 year old in Iraq is proof of this.

    I apologize if some of this has already been stated - I only read the last few pages of the 14 pages involved in this discussion but felt compelled to provide my two cents based on the accusation that the US military is wantonly ignoring or allowing the type of activity Sarajevo071 points too.
    ... for restating what seems to get lost in all the chaff concerning our guys, the ROE and the total lack of outrage towards the cowardly "baby-killers" who randomly murder in the name of some fantastical "jihad"...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarajevo071 View Post

    I know you will blow me off and this cases with some justifications and excuse but just because you don't give a flying hoot for thousands dead and maimed Iraqi or Afghani Muslims, someone do....It is wrong by every standard (!) and it sending wrong message that your enemy will get, record, remember and used against you. By your reasoning, seams to me, you have no problem with civilian deaths (not just "collateral damage" but victims of murder, rape and other crimes) as long you give some money to pay off "blood debt"...
    I gave you the benefit of the doubt up until this point. You've successfully pissed me off now.

    Don't think for a second I blow this off. You don't know me. You've never been in my command. You don't know my Soldiers. So don't even let it enter your mind that I have "no problem" with civilian deaths. I've been to my share of wakes and funerals in Iraq for Iraqis; Sunnis, Shias, Turkomans, Yzidis, and Kurds. For God's sake, I was agreeing with you. In typical Sarajevo07 fashion, however, you took it a step too far with this post.

    It isn't just about me either. Your anger towards, resentment of, and jaded view of the American Soldier, however well perceived in your own mind, is misguided.

    You've gone over the top once more.
    Example is better than precept.

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    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Hi Ryan,

    Quote Originally Posted by RTK View Post
    Humans run the system. Humans will never be perfect. Therefore, the system will never be perfect.
    Totally agree with that. I think what is important here is two things. First, the attempt to restrict collateral damage based on principles. Second, the communication of those principles. And, if we want to start tossing around "baby-killer" epithets, we should see them aimed those whose "principles" follow the line of better dead than unbelievers.
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

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    Default What of strict liability?

    I'm reminded of the principal of strict liability, that should you deal with inherently dangerous things, like explosives, if anything bad happens, it's your fault; even if it wasn't your fault, it's still your fault. Granted, as solderers a friendly government will indemnify you of any criminal liability, absent negligence, but real people have been badly hurt and it's still you fault. Tellingly, your employer is civilly liable for the damages.

    I've always thought the broader application of strict liability was one of the more charming aspects of military jurisprudence and I'm rather disappointed to hear commenters abandon it in favour of a 'responsible system'.

    Respectfully,
    Evan

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    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Hi Evan,

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    I'm reminded of the principal of strict liability, that should you deal with inherently dangerous things, like explosives, if anything bad happens, it's your fault; even if it wasn't your fault, it's still your fault.
    A good point. One of the things that has come out over 100 years or so of Anthropological research is how (and where and when) "strict liability" can be applied. In general, it seems that it can only be applied when a particular skill set is considered to be "normal technology", i.e. skills that every "normal" person should have (actually, it varies by classification of person, e.g. child, adult, elder, etc.).

    "Professionals", however they may be defined, enjoy their "professional" status in part because the skill sets they claim are "not normal" - they are "inherently" "dangerous" (i.e. on the boundaries of the normal as it moves into the unknown. This is one of the reasons why, in almost all cultures, "professionals" set their own standards for what is "normal" for the "profession" and, hence, falls under "strict liability".

    That, of course, is pretty much a generalization. When we get to the point where "even if it wasn't your fault, it's still your fault", we are dealing with a form of social (or cultural, but usually social) pathology - i.e. the application of a standard from one context ("normal") onto another context ("not-normal"). In the case you mention, explosives, I would have to say that if you are a "professional" in the area, then you should only be held to strict liability for the normal for the profession. If you are an amateur, you should be held liable for breaching the professional skill set.

    The case becomes trickier when we are dealing with a system - who is held to strict liability? Was the system itself flawed or were the people within the system breaching its normal operations? My favorite exemplar of this problem is "the operation was a success but the patient died". Situations like this require an examination of both the actions of individuals within the system and of the system itself.

    In the case of the friendly fire incident I was mentioning earlier, most Canadians perceived the system to be at fault, but saw the pilots as being held accountable - a clear case of "scapegoating" (loading the "sins" of the group on the heads of a few people).

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by SWJED View Post
    We don't intentionally bomb non-combatants - suicide bombers do. End of story.

    We may not be doing that now, but we have in the past. There wasn't much military justification for unleashing our fire-bomb raids on Japan (unlike Germany where we attempted "pin-point" bombing of military targets), but the case could be made that such deliberate targeting of civilians went a long way toward convincing the Japanese to surrender.

    Perhaps it's a tactic we should reconsider in this war. Not in Iraq, but against those regimes we know support jihadism and oppose us, such as Iran.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kit View Post
    We may not be doing that now, but we have in the past. There wasn't much military justification for unleashing our fire-bomb raids on Japan (unlike Germany where we attempted "pin-point" bombing of military targets), but the case could be made that such deliberate targeting of civilians went a long way toward convincing the Japanese to surrender.

    Perhaps it's a tactic we should reconsider in this war. Not in Iraq, but against those regimes we know support jihadism and oppose us, such as Iran.
    Actually, under the logic of the times, the firebombing campaigns in Japan were justified as the only way to attack their cottage industry base. And the British made no bones about their approach to the Germans in World War II with their night bombing campaign.

    The impact of both bombing campaigns (as well as the differences between the European and Pacific campaigns) have been debated for years and will continue to be the subject of debate. Air power advocates will always claim that bombing could have won both wars, while land power advocates will disagree.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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