RANGER AGAINST WAR: We're Fighters, Not Lovers <

Thursday, May 15, 2008

We're Fighters, Not Lovers

Forget about the losses,
you exaggerate the wins
--The Road, Jackson Browne

Well I can roar like a lion,
I can sting like a bee.
But some times I think, baby,
I've got rabbit blood in me
--I'm a Lover Not a Fighter, The Kinks

Ranger Question of the Day:
If our military personnel are now all warriors,
does that make the President the Warrior in Chief?

The U.S. portrays its military personnel as warriors, yet its official policy is that it is involved in COIN operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

COIN, portrayed as the key element in our phony elective wars, is not based on combat power. Yet national leadership and policy insists our service personnel be designated
warriors. We say one thing, and expect to do another. Surely the warrior ethos will not resolves COIN concerns.

Iraq and Afghanistan clearly cannot be solved through the avenue of power, yet all services have signed on the designation "warrior." Even the vaunted Army COIN strategy is based in the concept of advisers, implying a symbiotic relationship between occupiers and indigenous. But where are these midwifing sorts? That's right -- they are now combat arms warriors.

COIN is simplicity itself. It is their country and they do not want us there. That is simple. What is complicated is that U.S. policy tries to circumvent this fact.

Current U.S. policy is like going out to a ball game where the rules are unknown, and when they become known, change. Also, the location of the ball park is a secret, as is the ticket price. The ability to score or the way to score is also a secret known only to the referees. And of course, the refs are deaf and blind.

This is a working definition of the U.S. Warrior COIN Policy.

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Blogger BadTux said...

Even Stalin could not win a counterinsurgency using the U.S. strategy -- the Red Army was utterly useless putting down the Ukrainian insurrection. Finally Stalin pulled out the Red Army and sent in the NKVD and special forces rangers to infiltrate the insurrection and defeat it in detail.

Note that both the Red Army and the NKVD had some other advantages over the U.S. in Iraq. The Ukraine had been part of the Russian Empire for over 250 years. Ukrainians all spoke Russian, and the culture was basically Russian culture with a few Ukrainian twists. Iraq, on the other hand, might as well be Mars insofar as the typical American GI's knowledge of both Iraqi culture and Iraqi language, and most Iraqis don't speak English.

Of course, Stalin also had another solution for dealing with insurgencies, one where the Red Army was quite useful. That solution was "no people, no problem." Chechnyans giving you troubles? No problem -- just kill all the men, deport all the women and children to Siberian work camps, no people, no problem! But obviously that isn't practical in Iraq, unless you're interested in committing an act of genocide that would make Hitler look like an angel on the "good...evil" scale.

Given that, I see no way that even the secret police / special forces solution could work in Iraq. Especially since Iraq is also in the middle of a civil war and divided amongst dozens of factions and warlords, so even if we back one warlord or another, that warlord is capable only of controlling his own people in his own area, not other people's areas. There is a way to handle this situation, the way the British handled it in India, or the way Julius Caesar handled it in Gaul -- it's called "divide and conquer". But there, too, U.S. efforts have been hamhanded. And that's got nothing to do with COIN in the first place, which in the context of Iraq is like talking about flying cows since there's no single "insurrection" to suppress but, rather, a dozen sides in an ongoing civil war that our troops are in the middle of.


Friday, May 16, 2008 at 8:35:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Bad Tux, And of course how did the US get a horse in that race. What do the American people gain IF Iraq is democratic?
As with the entire phoney wars we have everything to lose and nothing to gain.
A winning scenario.And of course MC Cain says we can win by 2013! WOWMOMWOW! JIM

Saturday, May 17, 2008 at 10:06:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Publius said...

Well, I don't know, Ranger. I've lately discovered a little more spring in my step and a little more distance on my golf drives. It's because I've determined that guys like you and me are now grandfathered in as "warriors," rather than the common soldiers we once were. Actually are, because of our RA retired status. Think of it. "Warrior." Wish my dad, the WW2 vet, had lived to see his son promoted to "warrior." Of course, I guess he qualifies, too.

One bad thing about now being a "warrior" is my constant fear that they'll decide maybe they can use me in this all-encompassing "war" of theirs. As a result, I'm lying low. The problem with being a "warrior" these days is that the political and military leadership has managed to do something I once thought impossible: make LBJ, McNamara and Westmoreland look like absolute geniuses. Who woulda thunk?

Saturday, May 17, 2008 at 5:33:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I attained exulted Warrior status when SOF.ORP and Socnet.got off my ass. I think my award is with a small W.
Since they no longer troll me this MUST MEAN that i've been promoted.
Always nice to hear from you.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 at 1:23:00 PM GMT-5  

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