Who Does the Better Soldiering?

DefenseTech has an awesome entry explaining how an unorthodox commander is kicking ass in Iraq. We need fellows like this guy. A couple of side notes:

1) This kind of unorthodoxy would never happen under the American chain of command in Iraq. It would be PowerPointed to death from afar by some staff weenie to the Commanding General of whatever Multi-National Division, and an angry satellite phone call would be placed to the commander, either telling him to shape up or ship out.

2) My observation: Austerity breeds warriors and the fighting spirit.

3) Brilliance in the basics wins! (Corollary: Brilliance in the simple wins!) If you need to patrol an area, then send troops to patrol. If the Americans would show up, put in a huge Forward Operating Base, put in an Armord Cav Regiment, and send out patrols–but not too many.

4) If the enemy is attacking you on the roads, then stay off the roads! The irony of adding all of this uparmor to the vehicles is it makes them more roadbound. Right now, American doctrine in Iraq is this: All convoys will be conducted on MSR (major roads), all in uparmored vehicles, and all convoys will be sufficiently large (so they can fight off attacks, and so they are more visible to insurgents. Iraqi cars do not convoy).

I’m not saying that we should only use unarmored vehicles. I advocate a mix. Imagine this: a convoy full of supplies moving along an MSR in uparmored vehicles, and flank security provided by lightly armored and heavily-armed vehicles moving on either side of the MSR. Or imagine this: An infiltration convoy–break the convoy up into tiny 2-3 car teams, send them at different times along different routes across the desert (not on roads).

Instead of focusing only on our predicament and using only the most orthodox solution (add more armor, damn it! And get the media over here so they can see that I don’t have enough of it!), we need to think about the enemy!

Back to the DefenseTech article. It’s good until the last paragraph:

Imagine a Stryker brigade adopting Labouchere’s model. Imagine what we could accomplish combining American resources with Labouchere’s no-nonsense methods. Now imagine that American commanders had half his guts and smarts.

The author doesn’t understand that resource-rich environments breed intellectual laziness. Because of the Pentagon’s resources we will never see tactics like these unless it’s a SOF unit that’s free to be creative, or maybe from the Marines if we can shed our addiction to big money defense programs. (highly unlikely!)


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