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Do you support the Obama administration's current policy in Afghanistan?
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:00 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote

Last of U.S. surge troops out of Afghanistan

September 20, 2012

(AP) AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Nearly two years after President Barack Obama ordered 33,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan to tamp down the escalating Taliban violence, the last of those surge troops have left the country, U.S. officials said Thursday.

The withdrawal, which leaves 68,000 American forces in the warzone, comes as the security transition to Afghan forces is in trouble, threatened by a spike in so-called insider attacks in which Afghan Army and police troops, or insurgents dressed in their uniforms, have been attacking and killing U.S. and NATO forces.

And it's called into question the core strategy that relies on NATO troops working shoulder to shoulder with Afghans, training them to take over the security of their own country so the U.S. and its allies can leave at the end of 2014 as planned.

The number of U.S. forces there peaked at about 101,000 last year, and they have been coming out slowly over the past several months.

The surge was aimed at beating back the Taliban to give the Afghan government and its security forces the time and space to take hold.

The key goal was to ensure that the Taliban did not regain a foothold in the country that could allow it once again to become a safe haven for terror groups. And there was hope that Taliban members would be willing to come to the peace table.

Military commanders say the war strategy is on track and that they have made broad gains against the Taliban, wresting control of areas where the insurgents once had strong footholds. And U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has characterized the insider attacks as the last gasp of a desperate insurgency.

But other top military leaders, including U.S. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are worried about the impact of the attacks on the troops.

Dempsey called them a "very serious threat" to the war campaign and has declared that "something has to change."
© 2012 The Associated Press.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only way to civilize those bastards is with high altitude carpet bombing. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


Reports indicate U.S. soldiers and British Royal Marines have been urged to show "courageous constraint" by not shooting Taliban members spotted planting IEDs.
The reason? Shooting them might disturb the locals.
This news comes out on the heels of an investigation into the death of Royal Marine Sergeant Peter Rayner, whom witnesses say watched the Taliban plant IEDs at night but was ordered not to engage them. Families of other soldiers and Royal Marines are telling stories of how their loved ones were not allowed to use mortars or night illumination when they came across Taliban members in an area full of IEDs.
The reason given was that "the sound of shooting 'might wake up and upset the locals.'"
This is not "courageous restraint" -- this is appeasement.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

US Army Colonel Reveals Failure of COIN and Barbarism of Afghans

October 10, 2012 By Daniel Greenfield

The letter from Colonel Harry Tunnell is making its rounds around the internet, but here are some choice and relevant excerpts. But first a shot bio of Tunnell.
Tunnell had been gravely wounded in Iraq, where he led a battalion of paratroopers with the 173rd Airborne Brigade. In October 2003, his convoy was ambushed by insurgents near the city of Kirkuk.
Despite his emphasis on education, Tunnell had a dim view of the intellectual underpinnings of counterinsurgency theory. He didn’t think insurgencies were defeated by protecting villages and winning over residents through reconstruction and development projects. He believed that the top priority was to kill the bad guys.
By the time Tunnell took over the brigade, every other infantry commander preparing to go to Iraq or Afghanistan was using Gen. Petraeus’ COIN manual as his lodestar. But not Tunnell. He told his soldiers that their approach to security operations would be drawn from an Army manual that outlined counterguerrilla operations, which had long been superseded by Petraeus’ playbook. Instead of emphasizing the protection of civilians, it instructed commanders to “give priority to destroying the guerrilla forces.” He called his unit the “Destroyer Brigade” and ordered that its vehicles be painted with the motto SEARCH AND DESTROY.
The Colonel speaks generally on the conflict
“The willingness to combat an enemy cannot be turned on and off like a light switch. Leaders are willing to conduct operations at the tactical and operational levels of war to decisively defeat the enemy or they are not. Soldiers join the military today to protect the United States, yet they are told once in Afghanistan that we are fighting for the Afghan people– this is a rather mercenary outlook and ignores the fact that the United States was attacked on September 11, 2001. If we have an army led by people unwilling to defeat a disorganized illiterate adversary such as we face today, even after a despicable surprise attack on our nation, there is little hope that we can defeat a modern sophisticated enemy that we may face in the future.”
He addresses the COIN (Counterinsurgency) disaster in some detail
The COIN doctrine that does exist consists of musings from amateurs, contractors, plagiarized journal articles, etc. It is not professional and relevant because it does not reflect the studied body of best practice– the concepts it promotes, in fact, contribute to needless American casualties.
COIN has become such a restrictive dogma that it cannot be questioned; any professional discussion about its strenghts and weaknesses is discouraged. It has reached such a crisis that those who employ other Army doctrinal concepts do so at their own professional peril because they will be subject to censure for not adhering to COIN. This has created a dysfunctional and toxic leadership throughout our army which has resulted in poor organization, unrealistic training and indecisive battlefield performance.
And then tells the following, almost unbelievable, story
Worst of all COIN dogma has degraded our ability to properly, effectively and realistically train for combat. As the commander of 5/2 ID (SBCT) I was continually badgered not to conduct brigade maneuver live fire training before deploying because NTC leaders deemed that we were already “too lethal” of an organization. As a military historian I am simply not familiar with the concept of an infantry brigade being too lethal and thus denied live fire training.
He critiques the politically correct consequences of COIN
“A gross lack of concern for subordinates manifests in guidance that “zero” civilian casualties are acceptable and coalition soldiers may have to be killed rather than defend themselves against a potential threat and risk being wrong and possibly resulting in injury or death of civilians.”
Population-centric approaches to war have resulted in senior officers are almost pacifistic in their approach to war; while they may have a public persona that seems offensively spirited that is not the reality when they are issuing guidelines to subordinates.”
And then tells the truth about the barbarism of our Afghan allies.
It is unlikely that Afghan security forces will be able to conduct independent operations with any degree of reliability because of a lack of technical skills. For example they do not have the ability to maintain vehicle fleets very well– most Afghans simply cannot drive.
Afghan males are among the greatest misogynists in the world. The Burqa is not a Taliban invention; it is a Pashtun norm.
Afghan military units– particularly small outposts, are bastions of filth. Rudimentary latrine facilities such as slit trenches are absent, even “cat holes” are unheard of. Afghans will select a room, if they are in a compound and use it for a latrine. If they are in an outdoor outpost, they defecate without measures to burn or discard the excrement.
Aberrant sexual behavior is acceptable… There is an acceptance of pedophilia that is widespread and boys are sometimes kidnapped. Leaders have been known to sexually assault male subordinates– even if sexual activity between males is consensual, it has implications for good order and discipline, which is why in many armies fraternization is not allowed.
NCOs cannot perform basic leadership and supply accountability functions well because they are largely illiterate. NCOs cannot manage clothing records for their illiterate soldiers, they cannot maintain weapons and equipment accountability if they cannot read a serial number, they cannot read an operations order for a tactical mission.
And finally a statement from the Colonel that has much wider applications to our efforts in the Muslim world.
Finally, a main COIN assumption is that the population does not want what the Taliban have to offer. This is an unbelievably flawed assumption… it might be more correct to assess that the population does not like how the Taliban deliver.
Now that you’ve read through all that, here’s an excerpt from his less classified writing.
Military leaders must stay focused on the destruction of the enemy. It is virtually impossible to convince any committed terrorist who hates America to change his or her point of view—they simply must be attacked relentlessly. … It is appropriate for military units to develop goals that include appreciating local culture, improving quality of life for the populace, and promoting good governance whenever these concepts improve access to the enemy. However, if the pursuit of them does not advance one’s knowledge of threats and a unit’s capability to maintain the offensive, then they are of little practical value as tactical or operational objectives. Destruction of the enemy force must remain the most important step to defeating terrorists and insurgents.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Context and background on Colonel Tunnell and Afghanistan counterinsurgency.


COIN, the counterinsurgency program was co-written by Army General Petraeus and Marine Marine Lt. General Mattis -- it was first ordered and implemented during the Iraq "surge" in 2008.


Slap on the wrist for 'aggressive' leader of rogue Afghanistan 'kill squad' as he's cleared of responsibility for atrocities

By Daily Mail Reporter
6 April 2011

The commander of an army unit that lured innocent Afghan civilians to their deaths and then took horrific pictures has been cleared of responsibility for the atrocities.
Colonel Harry D Tunnell, the commander of 5th Stryker Combat Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, was criticised in a report for defying the Army's established counter insurgency role in favour of a more 'search and destroy' type strategy.
The report stopped short of blaming the reportedly 'gung-ho' Tunnell for the appalling actions of those under his command, saying there was no 'causal relationship' between his aggressive leadership style and the killings.

As a result of the investigation, Lieutenant General Curtis Scaparrotti recommended that Tunnell receive a letter of admonition. While he remains in the Army, the letter could hamper his future carer path.

In the report, generals who Tunnell had served under while in Afghanistan said he was constantly arguing with his superiors over the doctrine of counterinsurgency or COIN employed in Afghanistan.

The strategy, under which U.S. and Nato forces attempted to undermine the insurgency by gaining the loyalty of Afghans, ran counter to Tunnell's old-fashioned 'counter-guerrilla' strategy, where he instructed his soldiers to concentrate on engaging and destroying the enemy.

The investigation into Tunnell's leadership was launched in the wake of a Rolling Stone magazine article published last month [March 2011] that uncovered a number of shocking killings carried out by members of 2nd Infantry division.
Last month Army Specialist Jeremy Morlock, 23, admitted his part in the twisted scheme and was jailed for 24 years.

The remaining four soldiers who are due to be court-martialled are Sergeant Calvin Gibbs - who is accused of being the ringleader - Specialist Adam C. Winfield, Specialist Michael S. Wagnon II and Private first class Andrew H. Holmes

They were all part of the 5th Stryker Combat Brigade, of the 2nd Infantry Division, who carried out at least four executions in Kandahar province between January and May last year.

In one horrific episode, the magazine claims troops threw a grenade at an innocent Afghan boy before chopping off his finger and later using it as 'gambling chip' in a game of cards.

According to Rolling Stone the men joked for weeks about killing "savages" before finally murdering a boy of around 15 in a farming village, their first kill.
To cover their tracks they threw a grenade in his direction to make it look like they had come under attack.

But with his body on the floor events took an even more sinister turn as Gibbs allegedly started 'messing around with the kid', moving his arms and mouth and 'acting like the kid was talking'.

He then supposedly took a pair of medic's scissors and snipped off the boy's pinky finger and handed it to Holmes as a trophy for his first kill in Afghanistan.

Rolling Stone claims Holmes carried it around in a zip-lock bag. 'He wanted to keep the finger forever and wanted to dry it out,' a friend said later. 'He was proud of his finger.'

The magazine claims that among those accused:  'killing innocent Afghan civilians became less a reason for concern than a cause for celebration'.

In the Tunnell report, Brigadier General Frederick Hodges, then-director of operations in southern Afghanistan, said:  'Looking back on my relationship with him [Tunnell], I regret that I wasn't more involved in his professional development during his tenure as a brigade commander.
'I should have specifically told him that MG Carter and I had lost confidence in his ability to command from his failure to follow instructions and intent.'

In his own statement to investigators in November, Tunnell described counterinsurgency as a mistake. He said: 'Soldiers lives are routinely put at hazard because the doctrine has not been written within a context of American military art and science, organization or capability. U.S. Army forces are not organised, trained, or equipped to implement the doctrine.'

A separate investigation into the accused soldiers found that the criminal actions in the brigade were confined largely to a single platoon.

The investigation found that at least 15 members regularly smoked hashish and it was also reported soldiers killed chickens and dogs for sport.

Shockingly, on one occasion the entire platoon fell asleep while on patrol, failing to post anyone on guard watch.




By Lesley Wexler

This essay rejects the conventional wisdom that post-Vietnam military reforms adequately addressed the problem of U.S. noncompliance with international humanitarian law.

Just as My Lai and Son Thang defined the nadir of America's counterinsurgency in Vietnam and the trio of Haditha, Abu Ghraib and Operation Iron Triangle1 evoke our worst behavior in Iraq, so too the recent events of the 5th Stryker "kill team"¯ brigade may come to symbolize our greatest failings in Afghanistan.

The premeditated and deliberate killing of Afghani civilians reveals an indifference to human life that is utterly inconsistent with the premises of international humanitarian law and the deeply held values of the American military.

In this short piece, I examine the Stryker kill team's behavior to help build the knowledge and insight necessary to develop further reforms for military practices during the Long War.

The first part of this essay situates the 5th Stryker Brigade's troubling behavior within the military's recent shift to counterinsurgency and the specific challenges the brigade faced. This part also notes the military's numerous failures to heed red flags over the course of the brigade's participation in the Afghanistan conflict.  

In the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks and after reports of weapons of mass destruction, the United States military began fighting in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Pursuing both conflicts significantly taxed the military's resources and resulted in neither quick nor easy success.

Along with military and intelligence efforts in Pakistan, Yemen and the Sudan, these conflicts have become known as the Long War.

After eight years of fighting in Afghanistan, the U.S. military adopted a new counterinsurgency approach to defeat the Taliban and other terrorist organizations.

While the term "counterinsurgency" incorporates a variety of strategies, one fundamental principle is that troops must emphasize the safety of the local people. This prioritization of the wellbeing of civilians trumps all others.

In operationalizing the new counterinsurgency strategy, U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal set down a framework in August 2009 to minimize civilian casualties.

The ensuing rules of engagement include provisions such as: no night or surprise searches, no firing at the enemy unless the enemy is preparing to fire first and no engaging the enemy in the presence of civilians. The hope was such restraint, which goes well beyond what the laws of war dictate, would enhance U.S. support among local populations and allow forces to hold on to and build areas already cleared of insurgents. The rules of engagement do not preclude more traditional clearing and other kinetic operations, but they limit the manner in which such operations can be conducted, and they deemphasize them as an overall strategy.

The 5th Stryker Brigade Second Infantry Division , which includes the now infamous "kill team,"¯ became part of this counterinsurgency strategy. Despite spending the greater part of two years training for urban fighting in Iraq, they were reassigned to a new mission in Afghanistan as part of the troop surge.

They initially operated near Kandahar in Southern Afghanistan in 2009. At first, the troops worked in an insurgent-heavy location with unfriendly terrain. The US and NATO/ISAF continued to "win" virtually every tactical clash, although rarely without civilian casualties and collateral damage, in ways that gave Afghan force a real role as partners, or in ways that provided any lasting security for the Afghan population.

The Taliban and other insurgents were winning the war they fought to dominate the population and defeat the US and its allies through a war of political attrition.

The US and its allies were winning largely meaningless tactical clashes while steadily losing the country and the people.

As the civilian death toll continued to increase, evidence suggested the U.S. military was losing the support of the Afghan people. failing to secure their objective, higher-ups transferred them to what they saw as a demoralizing "freedom of movement"¯ mission. The brigade was tasked with the objective of protecting locals and the flow of commerce along southern Afghan highways.

Because of poor security in the area, the military, rather than civilian aid workers and State Department officials, did the yeoman's share of development work.

While the brigade received extensive training in kinetic operations, they received little information on how to conduct the tasks to which they were reassigned.

Harry Tunnell, commander of the 5th Stryker Brigade's 3,800 troops, developed a reputation for deploying tactics at odds with stated counterinsurgency goals.

Commander Tunnell has repeatedly claimed that U.S. Army forces "are not organized, trained or equipped,"¯ or "culturally suited"¯ to carry out counterinsurgency operations.

In line with this opinion, he told his newly formed brigade to follow counter-guerilla principles found in the U.S. Armys 1986 Field Manual, which he later argued was complimentary [sic] to the Counterinsurgency Field Manual. His vocal opposition to following the Counterinsurgency Field Manual nearly led his brigade to fail a deployment certification, which would have been an almost unheard of failure in leadership.

Nevertheless, rather than back down following admonishments, Tunnell continued to refuse to emphasize counterinsurgency principles, which resulted in a humiliating open lecture before in February 2009. Tunnell also stated he was seeking revenge for being shot in Iraq, and kept a metal rod from his injury on his desk as a reminder.

When his troops reached Afghanistan, Tunnell maintained his focus on kinetic and clearing operations rather than counterinsurgency or holding approaches. He urged those under his command to relentlessly attack the enemy. This approach led to confusion and disunity when others at the platoon and company level tried to more actively embrace counterinsurgency approaches.

Squad leaders have suggested the mixed messages prevented troops from properly employing counterinsurgency techniques.

In fact, some felt the need to pursue counterinsurgency goals, such as improving local government, in "semi-secret" to avoid Tunnell's wrath. Yet Tunnell and some others strongly rebuffed criticism, leading to a command climate where disagreement equaled disrespect.

Over the course of their year in Afghanistan, the brigade suffered thirty-five casualties and 230 wounded, a very high rate for such a deployment. In its new outpost, the brigade carried out frequent patrols and encountered numerous IEDs, but engaged in little actual combat. After their extensive kinetic training, many of the commanders and front line soldiers seemed to find the absence of direct combat a disappointment.

They coped with the frustration, boredom and isolation of the assignment in a variety of unhealthy ways.

From this context, the kill team emerged.

Tunnell even removed Charlie Company Commander Joel Kassulke, who embraced population-focused missions and openly promoted General McChrystal's principles. Tunnell removed Kassulke after he "expressed reservations"¯ about brigade level offensive operations.

The numbers amounted to a ten percent casualty rate in some units. Many turned to drug and alcohol use. This widespread drug use predated Gibbs' appearance in the platoon.

Over the course of five months, multiple members of the 5th Stryker Brigade allegedly killed unarmed civilians. Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs, who had previously provided a personal security detail for then-Colonel Tunnell, is thought to have been the kill team's mastermind.

Accounts suggest Gibbs came to Afghanistan with an axe to grind over previous injuries sustained in Iraq and that he despised the Afghan people. Despite trafficking in stereotypes, he quickly gained most of his subordinates' trust and support.

The kill team's first attack occurred on January 15, 2010, possibly as payback for injuries suffered by another squad leader.

Accounts suggest Gibbs directed Corporal Jeremy Morlock and Private Andrew Holmes to kill their first victim, unarmed fifteen-year-old farmer Gul Mudin.

In order to avoid detection, they tossed a grenade as cover, though evidence suggests others in the platoon knew of the plan. After Mudin's death, the troops entered information about him into a database as required by Army regulations. At this stage, both Holmes and Morlock posed with Mudin's corpse for trophy photos.

Gibbs was one of twenty men on the security detail and had sustained personal interaction with Tunnell.

For instance, he gave bookish Adam Winfield the disdainful name "Winnie the Jew." After Winfield killed Marach Agna, Gibbs changed the name to "Bear Jew"¯ after a blood thirsty character in Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds.

For example, Specialist Adam Kelly was quoted as saying "Gibbs [was] well liked in the platoon by his seniors, peers, and subordinates alike."

After the event, Morlock and Holmes widely disseminated photos of themselves happily posing with the corpse.

Between the photos and ensuing braggadocio, many platoon soldiers seemed to learn of the episode, but none immediately alerted their superiors. One soldier, Private Adam Winfield, asked his father to contact the Army Inspector General regarding the events.

Yet neither Winfield's father's inquiries, nor the red flags raised by the unusual story of a single farmer ambushing multiple armed soldiers, nor the identification of the soldiers as the grenade throwers prompted an investigation.

The second attack occurred in February 2010. Gibbs, Morlock, and Specialist Michael Wagnon allegedly fired an AK-47 into a wall to create the appearance that local insurgents had fired upon them.

Then they shot and killed Marach Agna, an unarmed civilian. Lieutenant Roman Ligsay, who later moved the body to facilitate identification, quickly learned that Agna was a religious man who did not own or know how to shoot an AK-47.

Yet Ligsay pursued no significant investigation at the time, despite the odd profiles of the Mudin and Agna attacks.

On May 2, 2010, accounts emerged suggesting Gibbs, along with Morlock and Winfield, attacked Mullah Allah Dad, killing him and leaving his body badly disfigured. After driving Mullah Dad out of town, Gibbs allegedly called out "Grenade,"¯ threw a grenade as cover and Morlock ordered Winfield to shoot Dad. Gibbs then removed a pinky and a tooth from Mullah Dad. Winfield has since suggested that Gibbs involved him to prevent his speaking out about the prior killings.

A rather haphazard series of events brought at least some of the kill team's actions to light. After Private Justin Stoner complained to higherups about several soldiers using his room to smoke hashish in his absence, his father claims he called the Army Inspectors General's Office, the Army's Investigative Agency and Florida Senator Bill Nelson. His father then made contact with the non-commissed officer (NCO) on duty at Winfield's Installation Operation Center. He claims that the NCO said the situation could not be remedied and Winfield should keep quiet.

Tellingly, the call was neither logged nor revealed to anyone. Several soldiers, including Gibbs and Morlock, attacked Stoner to intimidate him from further speaking out about their misconduct.

When Stoner complained a second time, this time revealing he was afraid to remain with his unit because he feared for his life, he revealed information about the killings and was subsequently thoroughly questioned. A larger investigation ensued.

Two outlets, der Spiegel and Rolling Stone, are largely responsible for breaking and publicizing the story. Other outlets like the New York Times Magazine have followed suit, although the kill team is hardly common public knowledge.

In the wake of the subsequent investigation, the military has charged a dozen soldiers with participation in a plot to kill Afghan civilians and with contributing to the ensuing cover-up.

Five soldiers were charged with killing civilians, of whom three pled guilty to various offenses, receiving sentences from as low as three years for whistleblower Winfield to as high as twenty-four years for Morlock. After a weeklong courtmartial, Gibbs was found guilty of fifteen charges against him, receiving life in prison. Others still face trial. The military did not charge anyone in a leadership position with a higher rank than Gibbs.

The military did commission General Stephen Twitty to conduct a top-to-bottom review of the 5th Stryker Brigade, which included over eighty interviews with those serving in the brigade.

Accounts suggest General Twittys seven-hundred page report called for Captain Ligsay (who was promoted after his Afghanistan deployment) to receive a reprimand for a different instance of excessive force, for Captain Quiggle, the immediate superior of those involved in the kill team to receive two letters of concern and for Colonel Tunnell to receive a letter of admonition.

That said, Tunnell is not expected to continue to rise in the military and was given a low-profile job after his Afghanistan tour ended....

U.S. military continues to fight the Long War with no end in sight. One does not have the luxury of waiting until the conflict is over to begin thinking about what reforms are needed. Thus, I use this case study to highlight features of U.S. military noncompliance with international humanitarian law, and some areas where changes may be needed.

At first glance, comparisons to Vietnam might seem misplaced. After the divisive prosecution and pardon of Lieutenant William Calley over his role in the My Lai Massacre, the Winter Soldiers Investigations and the general discontent following the Vietnam War, the U.S. military vowed to do things differently. It completely restructured its approach to international humanitarian law, culminating in the 1974 Department of Defense Laws of War program directive.

This directive initiated a
comprehensive approach to effectively implement the laws of war, including deploying judge-advocates trained in the laws of war imbedded as parts of units, code of conduct training and field training exercises for laws of war issues.

Moreover, the emphasis on laws of war training, previously focused on what enemy forces could not do to U.S. troops and highlighted that the laws of war placed unwarranted limits¯ on our ability to fight and win, shifted to focus on the laws of war's consistency with and support for the efficient [and] disciplined use of military force.

In many ways, this new approach seems successful. American military
and legal scholars generally agree that the military has substantially
improved its compliance with the jus in bello aspects of the laws of war.

The U.S. no longer engages in widespread destruction of crops, buildings, civilian property, and entire villages,¯ nor does it engage in the mass use of incendiary bombs and toxic defoliants.

This was part of a larger revolution in military affairs which affected training, doctrine and strategy....

Continues: http://www.bu.edu/law/central/jd/...n2/documents/symposium_wexler.pdf
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If we're gonna go over there just to let barbarians shoot at us while we sing Kumbaya we should keep the army at home and send in the peace corps.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excerpts from Associated Press article:

According to a Veterans Affairs report this spring, a veteran commits suicide every 80 minutes. More than 6,500 suicides have occurred since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began. For every service member who dies in battle, 25 veterans die by their own hands.

According to a Pentagon report, more American active service members have killed themselves in the first six months of 2012 than in the first six months of any of the previous 11 years, The Associated Press reported.

The report reveals 154 service members killed themselves in the first 155 days of 2012 alone. The number of deaths by suicide is 50 percent higher than combat deaths in Afghanistan during the same period and an 18 percent increase over active service member suicides in the first six months of 2011.

And, while only 1 percent of Americans have served in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, veterans of these conflicts represent 20 percent of all suicides in the United States, the VA reported.


Source, including comments from readers of the St. Augustine Record: http://staugustine.com/randal-yak...-24/military-suicides-out-control

Hopefully FNC, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS highlight this story - and regularly publish followup articles as the suicides continue.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is insane to send troops into harms way with one hand tied behind their backs. They are facing savages, barely out of the stone age, who have access to modern weapons, while being ordered to walk on eggshells.
It is like placing our troops in a cage and allowing a mob to poke them with sticks, it is too much to ask.

"The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule."
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only have to add one thing to your list Bob, multiple deployments.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only way to fight in the middle east is by carpet bombing from 40,000 feet.
All the stupid rules of engagement do is make our troops laughingstocks and targets!


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