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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #1
AdamG
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Default U.S. Army Study Finds Flaws With Military’s Pivotal Assault on Mosul

Temporary stand alone for maximum visibility. Well-done article on Urban Warfare and 'things not to do'.

For those with WSJ access,

https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-arm...sul-1513333800

Quote:
WASHINGTON—American military units that participated in the decisive battle for Mosul against Islamic State militants were hampered by difficulties in sharing imagery and sometimes had different understandings of what was happening on the battlefield, according to a new U.S. Army study of the operation.

That conclusion is part of a broader military assessment that raises concerns about the military’s response to Islamic State’s drone threat, the use of private contractors, the Army’s training for urban warfare and how American forces communicated with Mosul’s trapped residents.
Some of the salient points.

Quote:
But the report, which focused more on battlefield tactics than the development of the overall strategy, identified significant deficiencies as well. The Army, it noted, was slow to respond to the threat posed by Islamic State’s drones. “The U.S. Army lacks a comprehensive approach to urgent, emerging battlefield challenges,” the report state.

Another potential vulnerability was the Army’s reliance on contractors, the report notes. Private contractors have played an important role in logistical support, but they have generally operated in rear areas. The study questioned whether it is too risky to use them to service teams of military advisors on a dangerous battlefield.

“The U.S. Army needs to reconsider the risks associated with continued use of contractors in expeditionary warfare,” the report states.

The Army’s standard training for urban warfare, the report added, didn’t adequately replicate the difficulty in maneuvering through Mosul’s narrow streets against a dug-in and well armed enemy. “Urban training scenarios are too limited and sterile to replicate conditions such as those experienced in Mosul,” it states.

The intense fighting inside Mosul also posed a challenge for medical care. It was difficult for Medevac helicopters to land safely in the city and the rubbled streets sometimes made it hard to transport the wounded by vehicle. As a result, surgical hospitals may need to be closer to the front lines.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #2
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Backstory on the contractors. From February 23rd, 2016

Behind the president’s directive to ‘accelerate’ the counter-ISIS campaign came a surge in the number of contractors assisting in the campaign against ISIS.

http://www.defenseone.com/threats/20...droves/126095/

Quote:
The number of private contractors working for the U.S. Defense Department in Iraq grew eight-fold over the past year, a rate that far outpaces the growing number of American troops training and advising Iraqi soldiers battling Islamic State militants.
The sharp increase, disclosed in a recent Pentagon report to Congress, underscores the military’s reliance on civilians even for missions with relatively small troop presence.
“If you look at the size and the composition of the forces that have been deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, that’s changed markedly in the past year,” said Rick Brennan, a senior political scientist at the RAND Corp. and a retired Army officer.
As of January, 2,028 contractors were in Iraq, up from just 250 one year earlier, according to the Pentagon’s data. There are roughly 3,700 American troops there now, compared to 2,300 in January 2015.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #3
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Relevant, from 2016
Quote:
The first thing you learn when studying the role contractors play in U.S. military operations is there’s no easy way to do so. The U.S. government offers no practical overview, especially for the decade after 9/11. U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) began to release data on contractors only in the second half of 2007 — no other geographic combatant command provides such data for their area of operations. In 2011, the Government Accountability Office found, “Although all [State Department, USAID, and DOD] are required to track the number of personnel killed or wounded while working on contracts and assistance instruments in Iraq or Afghanistan, DOD still does not have a system that reliably tracks killed and wounded contractor personnel.” Just last month, an especially exasperated John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told acting Secretary of the Army Patrick Murphy, “We look forward to the day you can tell us how many contractors are employed by [the Department of Defense].”
http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/05/18/...q-afghanistan/
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Last edited by AdamG; 4 Weeks Ago at 06:41 PM.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #4
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Mosul's citizens mobilized to fight ISIS, by acting as clandestine eyes and ears for the Good Guys.

Quote:
They were among several hundred Mosul residents who provided information on Islamic State targets during the victorious nine-month battle for Iraq’s second biggest city, Iraqi military and Kurdish intelligence officials said.
They included taxi drivers, Iraqi soldiers and defectors from Islamic State. Without their help, officials say, the fighting would have dragged on longer, snared in Mosul’s narrow alleys.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-m...-idUSKCN1C916U
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