Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Brit General: US Army Racist, Slow, Wrong

From the Sydney Morning Herald

US Army its own worst enemy

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. . .

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 US Army] 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. . ."

Hmm--damaging optimism, quick & wrong, racist, impatient--sounds suspiciously like our Fearless Leader, Bubble Boy, Preznit Toad-Exploder, does it not?

1 comment:

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