Monday, November 28, 2005
In the Sandbox...
Less is better in Iraq
"After finally breaking away from the Powell Doctrine, it seems that we are still unable to break away from the mind-set of overwhelming power. We still have multimillion dollar bases glutted with vast numbers of support troops, and we are still employing large unit “search and destroy” missions.
In order to pacify Iraq and make it a model in the Middle East for other radical Islamic states, we need to commit long term. Such a commitment under the current mind-set involves large numbers of Reserve and National Guard troops. The reservists, though they are doing a superb job, are not ambitious, career-driven soldiers — they have other priorities in life. If we are so terrified of guerrilla warfare, why are we bringing more “sheep to the wolves?” History has taught us that highly trained, volunteer soldiers can perform incredibly well in much smaller numbers, suffering much fewer casualties, and thus attracting less media attention. Why do we, then, stray from strategies that have proved effective in previous conflicts such as the Banana Wars, Boxer uprising, and in some cases, even in Vietnam?
We need to remove a considerable number of support troops and all KBR and Army and Air Force Exchange Service civilians. That’s right, no more ice cream. Maintain only hard-charging, highly trained and supple combat troops who can aggressively and ubiquitously patrol the Iraqi streets with Iraqi augmentees. Most combat arms troops join the combat arms to fight (though some of them quixotically) and possess a sense of duty, patriotism and proud heritage. Let’s give them the same chance that Marine Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler and his Marines had."
-Sgt. Eros Kopliku, Balad, Iraq (Stars & Stripes: Letters to the Editor)
...girls of the Marine Corps...
One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six