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  1. #1
    Sinner's Swing! graeme's Avatar
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    11.19.17 @ 09:41 AM
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    Default Iraq 2003: Blue on Blue

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/section/0,,2,00.html

    First off, I'm not going to get into my opinions on the war in Iraq: this matter is not about that.

    Whilst i have nothing but the utmost respect for anyone that would fight in uniform, I have nothing but the utmost disrespect for the US military hierarchy on how this matter was handled.

    I'm not sure how much coverage this has got outside of the UK. Bottom line: British soldier killed in a friendly fire incident.

    These things happen in war. It's an accepted fact of battle.

    Two things trouble me badly on this one.

    First: The Pentagon refused to release the cockpit tapes for the court case in the UK, to be viewed by presiding judges and the killed soldier's family. It was deemed classified. Witholding evidence would be a more appropriate phrase.

    Second: (and far more importantly) The pilots of the A10's were in their first combat situation and had received absolutely zero training on recognition of friendlies. To hear the grief and distress of the two pilots concerned is heartbreaking as they realise what they have done.

    This is my point: Whether I agree with it or not, for a government to send into a conflict it's men with training as inadequate as this is criminal. It makes one wonder what kind of training the next 20,000 have received.

    And I'm not just criticising the Pentagon here. The Ministry of Defence in the UK has woefully neglected the needs of the British army too. A recent Channel 4 doc about British action in Afghanistan was shocking beyond belief, highlighting the equipment, manpower and training deficiencies as it did.

    This is not like the end of a protracted war when money is gone and resources all used up. These problems have been here from the very start with some of the best funded militaries on the planet.

    Our men and women in uniform are being abused badly by the very people who should be making sure everything possible is being done to ensure their safety.

    They should be given everything that they need and when the Governments do fuck up they should at least have the good grace to hold their hands up and admit it.

    The Pentagon has agreed now for this video to be seen in the hearings but has still denied the public to have any access. Ridiculous considering the biggest tabloid in Europe has already broadcast it, but not surprising when such idiots are in control.
    A man could lose himself in a country like this.

    My blog at http://tollins.blogspot.de/

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk
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    05.31.14 @ 08:17 PM
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    Up until late December, Donald Rumsfeld and his crew were the problem or at least a large part of it.

    The problem with the Pentagon is the mix of Civilian and Military that leads to a CYA mentality (Cover Your Ass) that leads to this kind of stupidity. The Royal Ministry of Defense and the Royal Army are run by grown ups and England has 1,700 years in the war business, almost 1430 years longer then the US so they understand that accidents happen and I'm sure would be quite "British" about the whole thing. The failure here is syptomatic of the larger failure of the US in Iraq, which is the PR War. Ironically, the only way that the US can win the PR war is to be 100% honest AT ALL TIMES. Even a well intentioned lie will look bad in the long run.

    At the Pentagon, you have senior officers who are at a point where they become more political than military, so they do a dance with the Civillian leadership that in the end doesn't help and often hurts both the Military and our defense. It is akin to defecting to the enemy, an officer who's come up the ranks and even demonstrated leadership suddenly becomes a sleaze ball. He/She justifies this by thinking that it's the only way to benefit their branch of the service, but it only benefits them. When you are General So & So, and the Civillian head of the Air Force; who has taken leave from his job on the board of directors at Boeing, thinks that this video will make the Air Force look bad and it needs to remain secret, General So & So goes along with it because he's going to retire in 18 months with his second star and has already sent his application to Boeing and he knows a few kind words from the SecAF will insure a great paying job. If this was Captain So & So instead of an older General So & SO, he would tell SecAF to shove the classification up his ass , then resign and fly to the UK and hand delive the cockpit tapes and ask for asylumn.

    This one hangs around Rumsfeld's neck. Back in the first Gulf War, when an A-10 hit a British APC and killed a dozen men, the Air Force, DoD and White House were on top of the situation and provided a prompt investigation and allowed the British to tag along. The situation, though sad, was handled openly and promtply so that questions were answered and everyone could move on. That was a different Bush and a couple of guys named Powell and Schwartzkopf, who didn't take shit from civilians.
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  3. #3
    Sinner's Swing! graeme's Avatar
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    11.19.17 @ 09:41 AM
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    Thanks for the info on the political vs civilian vs military deal in the Pentagon Axmann. I didn't realise it went quite that deep.

    Though technically this is true in the UK, ie. The top brass follow orders, there has been some very public dissent from high ranking British men. This has been especially true with regard to operations in Afghanistan when one of the top guys (can't remember the General's name) went public and said that the military objectives would not be reached simply because the strategy was all political, not military.

    The "Dispatches" programme on CH4 I mentioned was incredible. It followed an unofficially embedded reporter who went with a group of soldiers (British led with an Afghan contingent) to secure a town that kept falling back into Taliban hands. What should have been 24 hours of action turned into 6 days, with numerous wounded and quite a few dead. Problems such as no armour for vehicles, lack of ammunition, food (they had to get their own corn from a field), no free helicopters to ferry out the casualties....the list goes on.

    After 6 days of heavy fighting, some of it very close, the guys finally secured the town. The next day,they were inexplicably pulled out and returned to base, with no one left to defend the hard fought for gains. The Taliban just waltzed back into town the next day.

    One soldier, on camera, simply stared in disbelief as the reporter informed him of the rumoured order. He looked straight into the camera and stated simply "What a bloody waste".

    This is how these wars are being fought.

    I think that soldier summed it up perfectly.

    btw. See if you can get your hands on the doc ("Fighting the Taliban" Dispatches Channel 4.) The UK MoD did not want it released but thankfully Ch4 does what the hell it wants - a nice way to get a little truth about what is really happening.

    Edit. Just found it.
    Last edited by graeme; 02.06.07 at 01:36 PM.
    A man could lose himself in a country like this.

    My blog at http://tollins.blogspot.de/

 

 

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