SEARCH VEGSOURCE:
Custom Search

 


Reply To This Post         Return to Posts Index           VegSource Home


From: Bart (129.171.32.13)
Subject:         US Army its own worst enemy: British officer
Date: January 12, 2006 at 8:31 am PST

US Army its own worst enemy: British officer

January 12, 2006

A senior British Army officer has written a scathing critique of the US Army and its performance in Iraq, accusing it of cultural ignorance, moralistic self-righteousness, unproductive micromanagement and unwarranted optimism.

His publisher: the US Army.

In an article published this week in the army magazine Military Review, Brigadier Nigel Aylwin-Foster, who was deputy commander of a program to train the Iraqi military, said American officers in Iraq displayed such "cultural insensitivity" that it "arguably amounted to institutional racism" and may have spurred the growth of the insurgency.

The US Army has been slow to adapt its tactics, he argues, and its approach during the early stages of the occupation "exacerbated the task it now faces by alienating significant sections of the population".

The army magazine's decision to publish the essay - which has already provoked an intense reaction among US officers - is part of a broader self-examination in many parts of the force as it approaches the end of its third year in Iraq.

The army was full of soldiers showing qualities such as patriotism, duty, passion and talent, writes Brigadier Aylwin-Foster.

"Yet it seemed weighed down by bureaucracy, a stiflingly hierarchical outlook, a predisposition to offensive operations, and a sense that duty required all issues to be confronted head-on."

Those traits reflect the army's traditional focus on conventional wars and are seen by some experts as less appropriate for counterinsurgency, which they say needs patience, cultural understanding and a willingness to use innovative, counterintuitive approaches.

In counterinsurgency campaigns, Brigadier Aylwin-Foster says, "the quick solution is often the wrong one".

He argues that intense conformism and overly centralised decision-making slowed the army's operations in Iraq, giving the enemy time to respond.

The army's can-do spirit also encouraged a "damaging optimism" that interfered with realistic assessments.

"I think he's an insufferable British snob," responded Colonel Kevin Benson, commander of the US Army's School of Advanced Military Studies.

President George Bush on Tuesday announced plans to hand over control of more than half of Iraq to the Iraqi military by the end of the year.

Iraqi forces already control nearly half of Baghdad province as well as "sectors" of Iraqi territory in four other regions.

"In the year ahead, we will continue handing more territory to Iraqi forces, with the goal of having the Iraqis in control of more territory than the coalition by the end of 2006," Mr Bush said in an address to the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

? The Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, secretly incited Iraq's top Shiite leader to declare holy war against US and British forces, Washington's former administrator in Iraq says.

In his new book, My Year in Iraq, Paul Bremer says he heard the intelligence in October 2003, as sectarian tensions soared following the fall of Saddam Hussein.

"We had good intelligence showing that many insurgents and terrorists were coming into Iraq through Syria," Mr Bremer writes.

The Washington Post; Hearst Newspapers; Telegraph, London

Reply To This Post         Return to Posts Index           VegSource Home


Follow Ups:


    


Post Reply

Name:
E-mail: (optional)
Subject:

Comments:

Optional Link URL:
Link Title:
Optional Image URL:



See spam or
inappropriate posts?
Please let us know.
  


Want to see more videos? Subscribe to VegSource!

Every time we post a new video, we'll send you a notice by e-mail.

No spam ever and you can easily unsubscribe at anytime.

Enter your email address, your first name, and press Submit.


Your Email:
First Name:
Newsletter archive

Infomercial production direct marketing