Wednesday, June 06, 2007
You won’t hear it in the media or from most of the military pundits, but the current American Strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan violates the most fundamental maxim of military doctrine.
If your not a military student and most are not I won’t bore you with the details. Simply said doctrine is sum total of all the wisdom our military imparts to our soldiers. Its written, it takes advantage of our technology, everyone trains to it. In the heat of battle soldiers automatically execute the doctrine because it becomes a part of him or her. Our doctrine plus technology is what makes the American military far superior to any other in the world. Quite simply our military can act faster than the enemy can detect and react. The enemy is always 2 steps behind in the decision cycle; which is sure defeat.
So how is it that we can crush the Taliban and Iraqi military twice with virtually no loses and now we are having our butts handed to us by 3rd world militias and insurgents? Quite simply, this president is using our finest warriors in a police action, which strips our military of their doctrinal and technological advantages. The bad guys actually have all the advantages. We are non-Arabs in uniform while they look and dress exactly like the civilians we are trying to protect. We sanctify life while they sanctify death.
Back to doctrine. There are thousands of pages, but I will address just one principle. Doctrine is based on military principles that are timeless. Sun Tsu was written thousands of years ago and is still valid to day. Clausewitz is 100 years old and still valid. One of the most important principles is based on the game rock, scissors paper. The game used in the movie Tremors. Paper covers rock, rock breaks scissors and scissors cut paper. One wins completely the other loses completely. Rock on rock is not permitted. The military calls this asymmetric warfare. Our military is the best in the world at applying this principle. If a guy has a gun you hit him with an artillery shell. If a guy has a tank you hit him with a smart bomb from 20 thousand feet. Bad guys die good guys live. More importantly, the bad guys never have a chance.
Back to Iraq. Put all these rag tag Islamists in an open field and we could kill them all without a single casualty. Put them among civilians who won’t rat them out and our advantage disappears. Why? ROEs. Our culture and media won’t stand for high civilian casualties, even complicit civilians. So what is Patraeus doing with our finest warriors, our guys with guns kick open doors and shoot it out with their guys with guns. Its called symmetric warfare. No more “suspected nest of bad guys, call in the artillery; all good guys live.” Now good guys die.
In fact it is worse, the bad guys are the ones using asymmetric warfare on us. Suicide bombers and IEDs/EFPs cause 75% of the casualties with no loss or 1 loss to the enemy. Why? We are in known places traveling up and down predictable roads. Want an analogy you can relate to. Picture all the scumbags in New York or Washington shooting the cops from ambush. The scumbags would have a kill ratio of 10 to one. Why? In less than a second he goes from innocent civilian to killer by whipping a gun out of his pocket at point blank range. It is only the extraordinary skill of our soldiers that keeps our kill ratios at 10 to 1. If the bad guys changed their tactics from hot head shoot outs to pure “sneak attacks”, their kill ration will jump dramatically. What is a sneak attack? Walk past a US patrol, pull a grenade out of your robe and toss it over your shoulder as you duck down an alley and run like hell. Unstoppable with our rules of engagement.
So how do you kill insurgents that hide among complicit civilians without taking loses. With our sanctity of life culture you don’t. It is not a military solution; it’s a political solution. Our military should have left in 2003. Their job was over. The state department’s should have begun, but didn’t. Why? The military takes orders, the State Department does what it wants and does not do what it does not want. State was dead set against this war and is dragging their feet with bureaucratic skill. So Bush is doing what all presidents have done in recent history, he dumps a diplomatic problem on the military, calls a police action a “war” and scams the American public.
Liberty or Death