Monday, January 29, 2007

'...the military no longer understands what business it is in.'

An interesting clip from the blog of an officer in Iraq, posted on With some sarcasm, it states that the US military simply does not know what business it is in any more, focusing on robust policing tactics and not war-fighting. It presents a very 'policy' way of operating in Iraq, with what must be astronomically high operating risks:

"In simple terms, the military no longer understands what business it is in. We're in the capturing business, not the killing business. We've gravitated to (heavily armed) police tactics because we are rightfully focused on the population, no matter what they think of us, even while fighting an enemy that thrives on collateral death. So we don't overpressure whole city blocks; we roll in in Humvees, accept the risks each screwed up neighborhood poses, and then walk the streets. We don't enter houses with grenades; each day we knock on perhaps fifty doors, waiting on the street, exposed, until the nervous owner unlocks the gate. We use sting operations (ambushes), neighborhood watches (presence patrolling), snitches, and DUI checkpoints (vehicle searches). We don't shoot unarmed enemy combatants. The Iraqi soldiers hunt them down like seasoned detectives and zip-tie them. These pu#$&es never fight back. Once detained, we treat them better than my college roommates treated each other.
The problem is, we haven't armed our soldiers with the necessary tools to fight this crucial stage of the war and at the highest levels we have abdicated responsibility where we most need to embrace it..."