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Thread: US troops arriving in Liberia to help contain Ebola

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    US troops arriving in Liberia to help contain Ebola

    Looking at this video, one thing sticks out in my mind. Where the heck are the guns?!! Please tell me these troops will be well armed. Please tell me we're not sending in 2000 troops without a very heavy, well armed, and well supported security contingent with heavy weapons. Please tell me there is a plan and multiple back up options for GTFO. In this case, Liberia may well be descending into the pit of hell in a matter of months. If that happens, these guys will need to defend themselves or GTFO in a hurry.

    Last edited by citanon; 29 Sep 14, at 21:10.

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    Senior Contributor SteveDaPirate's Avatar
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    After those 8 health workers were killed with machetes in Guinea, I would like to think that security is being taken more seriously.

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    Not to mention the terrorism threat.

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    Looks like USAMRIID is in full operational swing.
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    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by citanon View Post
    Looking at this video, one thing sticks out in my mind. Where the heck are the guns?!! Please tell me these troops will be well armed. Please tell me we're not sending in 2000 troops without a very heavy, well armed, and well supported security contingent with heavy weapons. Please tell me there is a plan and multiple back up options for GTFO. In this case, Liberia may well be descending into the pit of hell in a matter of months. If that happens, these guys will need to defend themselves or GTFO in a hurry.
    SIGH!

    Think about this for a moment. This is an American military force of several thousand. They are arriving to help with a medical emergency. Are they really going to stomp off the plane kitted up for combat & armed for bear? Is that the visual America wants here? Is the message for the locals 'we are ready to shoot you at a moment's notice'? Of course not. The image you want for medical people is unarmed & helpful looking. That is what you get. That unit will have some sort of security detachment (military folk feel free to jump in) complete with shooty weapons, helmets, body armour & all the good stuff. Well...the light good stuff anyways. Don't imagine they're packing artillery or anti-tank weapons. I am also prepared to bet that there are aircraft & armed soldiers available to evacuate quickly if shit gets messy.

    There simply isn't any need to show footage of armed troops, so I wouldn't expect much. This may be a dangerous place, but it isn't a combat zone.


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    Lowest possible profile is always good. I don't think anyone imagines the US Army can't look after itself.

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    Given the dire state of affairs in Liberia, the unprecedented nature of the challenge there is zero room for complacency. Optics need to be be an important aspect of mission planning considerations given the likelihood of public paranoia but security considerations in this case are very very serious given what has already occurred in neighboring Guinea, the chaotic nature of the environment, the attractiveness of US personnel as targets of terror attack or as targets of mass hysteria.

    On the terror side, we are lucky that Al Qaeda is not known to be operating in the region, but Liberia does have a significant Islamic population that could conceivably provide cover or recruits for Al Qaeda operatives. Furthermore, there is unprecedented availability of bioweapon materials in country in the form of uncollected fresh human remains, and US personnel will need to be in close contact with the populous. From the strategic side, we must also remember that in the central strategic doctrine of the long war, which our opponents follow, an important rationale for continued resistance against a stronger enemy is the eventual occurrence of outside events that may propel a shift in the strategic balance. Our enemies are surely on the lookout for any such catalyzing events that can be utilized to their advantage and I doubt that Ebola and the deployment of US troops into a situation where they may not be as well protected have escaped their notice. They have proven imaginative in the past. They will no doubt prove to be so in the remaining course of this conflict.

    Thus, I would hope that security is a central driver in the mission planning and the design of the mode of deployment, the field hospitals, etc.

    There are too many times in recent and not so recent history where our military's security measures have failed due to complacency or oversight. Too many of our service personnel, intelligence operatives and diplomatic staff have paid the ultimate price in places such as Beirut, Khobar Towers, Camp Chapman, and Benghazi.

    I do believe that our commander have plans and preparations in place, but I am worried.
    Last edited by citanon; 01 Oct 14, at 07:38.

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    Look you are very much senior to me. But with the greatest of respect I believe you are wrong. You could secure the us medical mission to west Africa but the cost would be the ability to complete your basic mission there. Empire has risks, and you should be prepared to assume them or go home.

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    Senior Contributor Bigfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by citanon View Post
    Given the dire state of affairs in Liberia, the unprecedented nature of the challenge there is zero room for complacency. Optics need to be be an important aspect of mission planning considerations given the likelihood of public paranoia but security considerations in this case are very very serious given what has already occurred in neighboring Guinea, the chaotic nature of the environment, the attractiveness of US personnel as targets of terror attack or as targets of mass hysteria.

    On the terror side, we are lucky that Al Qaeda is not known to be operating in the region, but Liberia does have a significant Islamic population that could conceivably provide cover or recruits for Al Qaeda operatives. Furthermore, there is unprecedented availability of bioweapon materials in country in the form of uncollected fresh human remains, and US personnel will need to be in close contact with the populous. From the strategic side, we must also remember that in the central strategic doctrine of the long war, which our opponents follow, an important rationale for continued resistance against a stronger enemy is the eventual occurrence of outside events that may propel a shift in the strategic balance. Our enemies are surely on the lookout for any such catalyzing events that can be utilized to their advantage and I doubt that Ebola and the deployment of US troops into a situation where they may not be as well protected have escaped their notice. They have proven imaginative in the past. They will no doubt prove to be so in the remaining course of this conflict.

    Thus, I would hope that security is a central driver in the mission planning and the design of the mode of deployment, the field hospitals, etc.

    There are too many times in recent and not so recent history where our military's security measures have failed due to complacency or oversight. Too many of our service personnel, intelligence operatives and diplomatic staff have paid the ultimate price in places such as Beirut, Khobar Towers, Camp Chapman, and Benghazi.

    I do believe that our commander have plans and preparations in place, but I am worried.
    I am worried that you get all this from a photo of a medical team getting off an aircraft without portable nukes on hand. Get a grip. Seriously.


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    UNMIL is to provide the security. There are two battlegroups in the area. One Pakisani and one Bangladeshi.
    Chimo

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    Of the 3500 in TF Liberia there is a plan for a reinforced Marine rifle company.

    Also 173 ABN has an airborne BNTF on a short leash to reinforce.

    And the unit in the video is a medical unit ou tof Andrews AFB. I bet their small arms are in a CONEX.
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    Quote Originally Posted by citanon View Post
    Where the heck are the guns?!!
    The German forces "planned" for the same deployment have had the same problem. The defense minister went ahead and just called for volunteers - along the lines of "we move you there, you do your humanitarian aid thing, we get you back" with not much said beyond that. Then she left it all up to the military brass to plan. It took about two days until the first guy started raising the issue that we'd need a parliamentary mandate or similar, because no way in hell is he sending troops down there without weapons. Currently they're apparently pondering (including who'd have to clear that with the host countries) whether to send a full force protection detail along or whether to just send every "volunteer" medic with at least a sidearm and possibly a rifle here and there.

    Although that was before the current debacle in which they misunderstand the "replacement supply chain" as simply sending another Transall the same way once the first sent suddenly ceases working at the first layover, only for the same thing to happen again... and again...

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    was anyone else's reaction- where are their covers?

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