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Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by LadyEagle, Dec 26, 2004.
This is a very long article & the rest is here:
Thanks, LE, for providing proof that the situation in Iraq is nothing new or unusual, and that people should get off of Secretary Rumsfeld's back.
If anyone was going to be bitter and criticize the war on terror in Iraq, you would expect it to be this guy. Interesting that he agrees with the mission and wishes he could go back.
Overwhelmingly, the troops who have been in Iraq support the mission.
It's basically the carpers safe at home who criticize the war effort against al Qaeda in Iraq.
Amazing. DOD sends these guys into combat without necesary equipment, and then when they scrounge their own, they get court-marhalled.
It's not your father's army. But then, your father's army wasn't run by a man who ran from his duty.
The act of "...scrounging to get what their outfit needed to do its job..." could mean figuring out how to improvise using available resources or it could mean stealing from another unit to get what was wanted. I've seen both and the latter is wrong which is why they were charged, tried, and sentenced. No one I know of has been punished for improvising but some have been for stealing which, by the way, deprives someone else of resources allocated to them. I trust and respect the military justice system to gather the facts and act accordingly without political bias such as might be the case with the "analysis" of what took place.
There's a lot of resentment going on among the reservists about who gets equipment. Some in the regular army still has the "good enough for the reserves" attitude, even though the reservists are doing the same fighting as the regular units.
I think it might be interesting to see the casualty rates for active and reserve forces in Iraq. The scandal in which reservists were ordered to take an unprotected convoy into dangerous territory with gasoline that was known to be be unusable is hopefully an isolated instance.
Convoys were run all over Viet Nam in dangerous territory with typically far less protection. Getting the supplies - food, ammunition, fuel, etc. - to the troops was a priority and taking risks went with the missions. Those weren't typically as hazardous as offensive combat but many troops died in defensive combat protecting convoys from ambushes. It was just as difficult, if not more so, in Korea and World War II. It's the same today in Iraq except the troops are fortunate to have much better equipment including personal armor, lightly armored vehicles, and communication. If accurately reported, the soldiers who refused their mission were absolutely wrong in doing so.
The troops who refused to go further were aware that the base commander was trying to pass the buck on to someone else.
The fuel was gasoline contaminate with diesel, and thus useless. The base commander didn't want to bother with it, so he told them to go on to the next base (which would have taken the unprotected convoy through a dangerous area)
I agree that when you refuse an order in combat, it is a very serious infraction. However, it's a perfect example of weak leadership encouraging disorder.
An investigation into the other side of this story is also being made and that will uncover those problems if they were as reported. It strikes me strangely that a "base commander", whatever that means, would order a convoy on to another "base" and, if so and with proper authority, without some valid reason. Perhaps the fuel, if actually contaminated as reported by some, needed to be dumped and facilities for that existed somewhere else. These are details we don't know for certian yet. It will be interesting to find out, when a final report is issued, exactly what orders where issued by whom and why.
Regardless, it does not serve as a legitmate excuse for the soldiers who refused to make the convoy run - combat environment or not - if the order came to them through their immediate chain of command as has been reported. These are not matters to be debated, discussed, or voted upon.
Not all apparently "abandoned" vehicles are really "abandoned"...
Someone apparently knew where these vehicles were and when they went looking for them found them missing and filed the appropriate reports...
So you have either theft of locals equipment or mis-appropriation of Government Equipment...
Taking a door blown off is one thing... But, a whole vehicle... Sheesh...
Sad as it is they got over zealous...
BTW: I am sure there are/were forms that could have been filed to get authorization to "acquire" and/or "cannibalize" this equipment...
It is a strange story though...
Sure my station wagon hasn't been driven in months... But, it isn't abandoned... And, if someone came in my yard and "offed" with it I'd be a little upset about it...
And, it would still be Grand Theft Auto...
We only got one side of this story, too...
Maybe they got a bit arrogant with their successes?
Maybe the punishment was a bit more harsh than needed to get the message out?
If it was, they can appeal it and request re-instatment...
If they did as they were charged perhaps they can get a reduction in sentence?
But, come on people, you really can't have a group of yahoos running wild taking anything they see that they believe they need whenever they think they need it...
Vehicle theft can become a serious problem in the military during combat operations and that was a problem in Viet Nam. Tactical vehicles didn't come with ignition keys but rather just a switch. Anyone could jump into one and drive it away. Certain individuals decided that could add a few vehicles to their motor pool or, in one case I know about, even sell parts from stripped vehicles to other units. In many larger camps orders were issued requiring unoccupied vehicles, while on the camp, to have their steering wheel chained and the chain pad locked. Outside camps, vehicles could not be left unattended because of concerns of theft (by US or allied troops) or, worse, of being booby trapped. Vehicles found otherwise were impounded. Vehicle thefts were aggressively investigated and those involved were charged, prosecuted, and punished. It seems strange but it happened. I can easily understand why these soldiers in Iraq were treated likewise.
On the flip side of this, in Viet Nam vehicles and other equipment were regularly modified with various improvised enhancements including additional armor, additional weaponry, or for special functions not originally intended. These things were done legally and in full view of the chain of command. Troops and their commanders didn't let a problem wait for a solution from across the "big pond" which took a long time. They came up with ideas, requested the proper approvals, and tried things. Some of these ideas were incorporated into more permanent solutions or replaced with better ones when they became available. This type of conduct was encouraged and rewarded. I'm certain that's the case in Iraq as well.
Agreed. It is my point that a strong commander would have dealt with the problem instead of passing it on. Jeopardizing the lives of the unit to get bad fuel out of his hair was close to criminal. Troops are resources, and this guy was ready to toss them away to solve his problem.