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  • A British Brigadier's View of US Army in Iraq

    I think this is the article that Shek had mentioned about the British Brigadier's comment on the US handling the Iraq CI.

    Or is it a new one?

    Changing the Army for Counterinsurgency Operations
    Brigadier Nigel Aylwin-Foster, British Army
    http://usacac.leavenworth.army.mil/C...c05/aylwin.pdf

    A virtue of having coalition partners with a legacy of shared sacrifice during difficult military campaigns is that they can also share candid observations. Such observations are understood to be professional exchanges among friends to promote constructive discussion that can improve the prospects of the coalition successes for which all strive. It was in a constructive spirit, then, that this article was made available to Military Review. The article is a professional commentary by an experienced officer based on his experiences and background. It should also be understood that publishing this article does not imply endorsement of or agreement with its observations by the Combined Arms Center leadership or Military Review. Indeed, some comments are already dated and no longer valid. Nonetheless, this article does provide Military Review readers the thought-provoking assessments of a senior officer with significant experience in counterterrorism operations. And it is offered in that vein—to stimulate discussion -Editor

    My own experience, serving at the heart of a U.S. dominated command within the Coalition from December 2003 to November 2004, suggests
    something of an enigma, hence the spur to study the subject further. My overriding impression was of an Army imbued with an unparalleled sense of patriotism, duty, passion, commitment, and determination, with plenty of talent, and in no way lacking in humanity or compassion. Yet it seemed weighed down by bureaucracy, a stiflingly hierarchical outlook, a pre-disposition to offensive operations, and a sense that duty required all issues to be confronted head-on. Many personnel seemed to struggle to understand the nuances of the OIF Phase 4 environment. Moreover, whilst they were almost unfailingly courteous and considerate, at times their cultural insensitivity, almost certainly inadvertent, arguably amounted to institutional racism. To balance that apparent litany of criticisms, the U.S. Army was instrumental in a string of tactical and operational successes through the second half of 2004; so any blanket verdict would be grossly misleading...................................
    worth a dekko by the serious soldier!


    "Some have learnt many Tricks of sly Evasion, Instead of Truth they use Equivocation, And eke it out with mental Reservation, Which is to good Men an Abomination."

    I don't have to attend every argument I'm invited to.

    HAKUNA MATATA

  • #2
    Hi Ray,

    its been about before, from what i vaguely recall it has about 30 pages of nice things to say and 5 pages of not so nice things to say.

    as usual our hugely balanced friends, attuned to subtelty and nuance and being sufficiently confidant in their professionalism so that they can take constructive criticism as they are, went apesh1t.

    no sense of humour you see...
    before criticizing someone, walk a mile in their shoes.................... then when you do criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by dave angel View Post
      Hi Ray,

      its been about before, from what i vaguely recall it has about 30 pages of nice things to say and 5 pages of not so nice things to say.

      as usual our hugely balanced friends, attuned to subtelty and nuance and being sufficiently confidant in their professionalism so that they can take constructive criticism as they are, went apesh1t.

      no sense of humour you see...
      I poked your guys with a stick, and you said some very unkind things, too.

      Mr. Kettle.

      Comment


      • #4
        Bluesman,

        What is your critique on the paper?

        I am keen to have the US views and what is being done about the whole show.

        Nothing in the world is perfect.


        "Some have learnt many Tricks of sly Evasion, Instead of Truth they use Equivocation, And eke it out with mental Reservation, Which is to good Men an Abomination."

        I don't have to attend every argument I'm invited to.

        HAKUNA MATATA

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Ray View Post
          I think this is the article that Shek had mentioned about the British Brigadier's comment on the US handling the Iraq CI.

          Or is it a new one?



          worth a dekko by the serious soldier!
          Sir,
          Thanks for the repost. Now that I'm up here, I'm going to re-engage to try and actually track down his base paper that this abridged version was based on.
          "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by dave angel View Post
            Hi Ray,

            its been about before, from what i vaguely recall it has about 30 pages of nice things to say and 5 pages of not so nice things to say.

            as usual our hugely balanced friends, attuned to subtelty and nuance and being sufficiently confidant in their professionalism so that they can take constructive criticism as they are, went apesh1t.

            no sense of humour you see...
            Dave,

            As I spoke of before, this is a mischaracterization of the full response to the article. Controversy sells newspapers, and so keep that in mind when you think of the "response" articles that were published following this article. There is certainly not one voice, and if you recall, while I had some specific critiques of this article (which were mostly on the margin), in general, I am in agreeance with his main point that we aren't there yet for COIN. Also, notice that fact that Brigadier Aylwin-Foster was asked to publish this by LTG Petraeus.

            Cheers.

            Shek
            "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

            Comment


            • #7
              Another British viewpoint here.

              http://www.smallwarsjournal.com/docu...and%20Iraq.pdf

              For those of you who have read, are reading, or are interested in reading Cobra II and Fiasco, this is another great read that provides some tremendous insight into the failings of the CPA and the initial failed efforts at COIN during OIF. More importantly, the level of analysis is fantastic, as it looks at the differing situtations faced in southern Iraq vice the Sunni triangle.
              "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

              Comment


              • #8
                A lot of Brits tend to come off as pompous know-it-all asses, whether in print or in spoken word.

                That does not exactly foster healthy discussion.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Tell me how Americans are different there Snipe?

                  You didn't earn an international reputation through Americans not coming over to Europe and acting like well.... Americans.

                  Just an observation in regards to you painting Brits the way Brits and everyone else paints you. ;)
                  Originally posted by GVChamp
                  College students are very, very, very dumb. But that's what you get when the government subsidizes children to sit in the middle of a corn field to drink alcohol and fuck.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Americans are viewed as drunken uneducated overweight lazy assses overseas- that's what i've always heard.

                    That's HARDLY the same as the image of the humorless, dry, pompous, superiority complex laden image Brits have here, largely perpetuated by movies and the like.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by M21Sniper View Post
                      Americans are viewed as drunken uneducated overweight lazy assses overseas- that's what i've always heard.

                      That's HARDLY the same as the image of the humorless, dry, pompous, superiority complex laden image Brits have here, largely perpetuated by movies and the like.
                      What a terribly intelligent response from an American, old bean... ;)

                      I wonder if much of it comes simply from a different style of expression in print. British writing tends to be more formal and measured, American more colloquial and emotive...

                      Mind you, that probably sums up most of the differences between Americans and Brits...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by M21Sniper View Post
                        Americans are viewed as drunken uneducated overweight lazy assses overseas- that's what i've always heard.

                        That's HARDLY the same as the image of the humorless, dry, pompous, superiority complex laden image Brits have here, largely perpetuated by movies and the like.

                        Christ, Sniper,

                        What have you been reading these days?

                        Adjectives and Adverbs?

                        I laughed so loud that I woke up my wife and she is not amused!

                        It's 0119 hours here!
                        Last edited by Ray; 20 Sep 06,, 20:49.


                        "Some have learnt many Tricks of sly Evasion, Instead of Truth they use Equivocation, And eke it out with mental Reservation, Which is to good Men an Abomination."

                        I don't have to attend every argument I'm invited to.

                        HAKUNA MATATA

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I sense the troops are getting restless. Dammit, we need a war, or failing that a good game of rugger.
                          In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.

                          Leibniz

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Here's the long version of the paper that I believe was transformed into the Military Review piece.

                            OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM PHASE 4: THE WATERSHED THE US ARMY STILL NEEDS TO RECOGNISE?
                            by Brigadier General Nigel Alwyn-Foster
                            November 2005
                            Attached Files
                            "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              An interesting read.

                              Thanks.


                              "Some have learnt many Tricks of sly Evasion, Instead of Truth they use Equivocation, And eke it out with mental Reservation, Which is to good Men an Abomination."

                              I don't have to attend every argument I'm invited to.

                              HAKUNA MATATA

                              Comment

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