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 Montreal_Guy
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 11
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History
Lawmaker Outraged by Sniper Footage on CNNPage 2 of 2    (1, 2)
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said that airing the video was irresponsible because it could encourage more attacks on U.S. troops.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/23/AR2006102301088.html?nav=hcmoduletmv


I somehow doubt that CNN showing a partial clip of sniper attacks, in good taste (without showing graphically what occurs, or identities of the men involved) has much of an effect on any Iraqi insurgents.

Snipers don't account for a major part of US casualties in Iraq, IED's are the most lethal.


Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack 974 34.8%

Hostile - hostile fire - sniper fire 37 1.3%

(As an example of how small a number that is, Non-hostile vehicle accident have caused 201 deaths, or 7.2% of total casualities. You are six times more likely to be killed in a vehicle accident in Iraq, than being killed by a sniper.)

http://www.icasualties.org/oif/stats.aspx

 vivienne3
Joined: 4/25/2005
Msg: 12
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History
Lawmaker Outraged by Sniper Footage on CNN
Posted: 10/24/2006 4:24:27 PM
Its a war, fot Pete sakes! Peopela re going to get maimed and killed. Deal with it!
 Montreal_Guy
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 13
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History
Lawmaker Outraged by Sniper Footage on CNN
Posted: 10/24/2006 5:06:23 PM
It's also pretty much over...

I was around during the Vietnam years, and this current situation ( on the political level) really is a strong case of deja vu for me. Even back then, it was "stay the course", "we are winning their hearts and minds", and....then those last choppers were taking off from the embassy roof and leaving.

Just look at the types of things that we are starting to hear :


General George Casey said the US-led coalition was three-quarters of the way through the process of training Iraqi forces, and predicted that those forces would be "completely capable of taking over responsibility for their own security" in 12 to 18 months.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,1930700,00.html



Seventy five percent able, and still the country cannot be controlled without more US forces. That timetable fits quite nicely with the next US election cycle.


In an indication of the mounting pressures for a change of course, the New York Times yesterday devoted its entire leader column to calling for a new solution to the "disaster" of Iraq and the immediate sacking of the defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld.

With US and Iraqi casualties rising, and calls for a fundamental change in strategy coming from both Democrats and Republicans, America's top civilian and military officials told journalists in Baghdad that the war was not lost and that the US had a concrete plan.

- Ibid


The winds have shifted, and it's crossed political borders. The militaries of two countries are starting to feel real pressures.


Gen Casey conceded that the US and its allies faced "a tough fight" in Baghdad and Anbar province, and opened the door to the possibility of sending yet more forces to pacify the capital.

"Now, do we need more troops to do that? Maybe. And as I've said all along, if we do, I will ask for the troops I need, both coalition and Iraqis," the general said.

US commanders have complained that their soldiers have borne the brunt of the fighting in Baghdad because the Iraqi army sent 2,000 fewer troops than promised. It was not clear whether reinforcements would be sent from elsewhere in Iraq or overall US troop levels would rise.

The US armed forces are already said to be under severe strain and would have to make sharp changes in deployment policy, cutting the rest period between combat tours, for instance.

Britain is facing similar problems. The top official at the Ministry of Defence, Bill Jeffrey, admitted yesterday that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were having an adverse affect on the army, which is now engaged in operations more intensive than military chiefs ever envisaged.

Mr Jeffrey, a permanent secretary at the MoD, has faced repeated demands from MPs on the Commons defence committee to explain when the government would take a decision on when the armed forces could no longer cope with the demands placed on them.

Fewer than one in seven British soldiers were now getting the rest between operations the MoD says they need, the MPs were told. Routine training was also being hit. Some 40% of all the units in the British armed forces have reported "serious or critical weaknesses" in their ability to switch from peacetime readiness to a state when they could safely go on operations, according to an MoD paper disclosed to the committee.

- Ibid


The situation is deteriorating on the ground.


US and UK policy in Iraq is now entering its retreat phrase. Where there is no hope of victory, the necessity for victory must be asserted ever more strongly. This was the theme of yesterday's unreal US press conference in Baghdad, identical in substance to one I attended there three years ago. There is talk of staying the course, of sticking by friends and of not cutting and running. Every day some general or diplomat hints at ultimatums, timelines and even failure - as did the British foreign secretary, Margaret Beckett, on Monday. But officially denial is all. For retreat to be tolerable it must be called victory.

The US and British are covering their retreat. Operation Together Forward II has been an attempt, now failed, to pacify Baghdad during Ramadan. In Basra, Britain is pursuing Operation Sinbad to win hearts and minds that it contrives constantly to lose. This may be an advance on Kissinger's bombing of Laos to cover defeat in Vietnam and Reagan's shelling of the Shouf mountains to cover his 1984 Beirut "redeployment" (two days after he had pledged not to cut and run). But retreat is retreat, even if it is called redeployment. Every exit strategy is unhappy in its own way.

Over Iraq the spin doctors are already at work. They are telling the world that the occupation will have failed only through the ingratitude and uselessness of the Iraqis themselves. The rubbishing of the prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, has begun in Washington, coupled with much talk of lowered ambitions and seeking out that foreign policy paradigm, "a new strong man". In May, Maliki signalled to Iraq's governors, commanders and militia leaders the need to sort out local differences and take control of their provincial destinies. This has failed. Maliki is only as strong as the militias he can control, which is precious few. He does not rule Baghdad, let alone Iraq. As for the militias, they are the natural outcome of the lawlessness caused by foreign occupation. They represent Iraqis desperately defending themselves from anarchy. It is now they who will decide Iraq's fate.

The only sensible post-invasion scenario was, ironically, that once attributed to Donald Rumsfeld, to topple Saddam Hussein, give a decapitated army to the Shias and get out at once. There would have been a brief and bloody settling of accounts and some new regime would have seized power. The outcome would probably have been partial or total Kurdish and Sunni secession, but by now a new Iraq confederacy might have settled down. Instead this same partition seems likely to follow a drawn-out and bloody civil conflict. It is presaged by the fall of Amara to the Mahdist militias this month - and the patent absurdity of the British re-occupying this town.

Washington appears to have given Maliki until next year to do something to bring peace to his country. Or what? America and Britain want to leave. As a settler said in Aden, "from the moment they knew we were leaving their loyalties turned elsewhere". Keeping foreign troops in Iraq will not "prevent civil war", as if they were doing that now. They are largely preoccupied with defending their fortress bases, their presence offering target practice for insurgents and undermining any emergent civil authority in Baghdad or the provinces. American and British troops may be in occupation but they are not in power. They have not cut and run, but rather cut and stayed.

The wretched Iraqis must wait as their cities endure civil chaos until one warlord or another comes out on top. In the Sunni region it is conceivable that a neo-Ba'athist secularism might gain the ascendancy. In the bitterly contested Shia areas, a fierce fundamentalism is the likely outcome. As for Baghdad, it faces the awful prospect of being another Beirut.

This country has been turned by two of the most powerful and civilised nations on Earth into the most hellish place on Earth. Armies claiming to bring democracy and prosperity have brought bloodshed and a misery worse than under the most ruthless modern dictator. This must be the stupidest paradox in modern history. Neither America nor Britain has the guts to rule Iraq properly, yet they lack the guts to leave.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,1930685,00.html



All that's left now is finding a way out, and trying to save face. Until that point is reached, the spin doctors will rule the day - and good men and women will continue to die and be horribly wounded.

We are just working towards that day when the last helo hovers off the embassy rooftop in Iraq, and that will probably come within the next eighteen months.

The decisions taken in this war will directly impact our world for years to come.
 Montreal_Guy
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 16
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History
Lawmaker Outraged by Sniper Footage on CNN
Posted: 11/6/2006 3:26:29 PM

You were in Viet Nam? Where? What unit?


I was around, not in.

I've also talked to men who served there, one a good friend of mine. I do remember those times, and the way the war was spun. I really see a strong parallel with what's going on in Iraq right now, in that regard. If you are younger , that's something you would not be aware of. That's one of the adantages of age, that you can say you saw it happen before.

The war's dynamics might be totally different, but the spin is exactly the same - as is the deteriorating condition on the ground.
 Montreal_Guy
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 19
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Lawmaker Outraged by Sniper Footage on CNN
Posted: 11/6/2006 5:01:41 PM
Jubba has four or five hundred kills ? Not even close...



Hostile - hostile fire - sniper fire 37 1.3%


Some other media reports (the above is an official tally) suggest that number might go as high as 50 or so.

He's probably not even one man, but a collection of snipers. Some have suggested that some Chechnyen professional snipers are there. Even US military officials have "complimented" their deadly skill. Killing a soldier wearing modern body armour, from three or four hundred yards away with a single shot is no easy task - especially when you know there are things like remote drones, counter-sniper teams, and sound location equipment being used to find your position as soon as you fire.

The amount of American troops killed by snipers is almost a statistical blip (unless you are one of them, or their family member). More American troops have probably died from dehydration in Iraq. It is however, a powerful propoganda tool. Militarily,in a real tactical sense, it's of minimal consequence.



The insurgent grapevine celebrates an incident last June when a four-strong marine scout sniper team was killed in Ramadi, all with shots to the head.

Unlike their opponents, US snipers in Baghdad seldom get to shoot. Typically they hide on rooftops and use thermal imaging and night vision equipment to monitor areas. If there is suspicious activity, they summon aircraft or ground patrols.

"We are professionals. There is a line between a maniac with a gun and a sniper," said Mike, 31, a corporal with a reconnaissance sniper platoon who did not want to his surname to be used.

He spoke during a 24-hour mission on a roof during which his team ate junk food and urinated into a bottle. During daylight they lay on the ground, immobile, to avoid being seen. "It's not a glamorous life," he said.

There was no sign of Juba, who tended to operate further east, but the team spotted mortar flashes and fed the coordinates to base.

Mike said he had shot 14 people in Somalia, three in Afghanistan and one in Iraq. "It's not like you expect it to be, an emotional high. You just think about the wind, the range, then it's over with."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1542824,00.html



Ironically, Jubba probably feels the exact same way. That's the reason he/they have killed so succesfully, and have not been taken out yet.
 rks58
Joined: 1/28/2006
Msg: 22
Lawmaker Outraged by Sniper Footage on CNN
Posted: 11/6/2006 6:03:07 PM

Jubba has four or five hundred kills ? Not even close...

Even if the individual/team has been operating for the entire 3 years 50 would still be a high number. Body count is less important than the one sudden, unexpected kill.

I would agree that the reputation exceeds the reality (which leads to below).


Militarily,in a real tactical sense, it's of minimal consequence.


That is where this requires a bit of clarification. In a strategic military sense sniper kills are of little relevance (unless they get those few extremely high value targets). In a tactical military sense though, even a few sudden, unexpected kills from sniper fire have tactical relevance. The relevance lies not in the body count but the impact on morale and aggressiveness.
 Montreal_Guy
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 24
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History
Lawmaker Outraged by Sniper Footage on CNN
Posted: 11/7/2006 5:56:18 AM
My reference was to a general overview of young people today, born after those times. What they read in history books is only a reflection of the reality we saw growing up watching it occur ourselves.

As for Vietnam, my reference is to how it was sold to the public. Since that remains the same in both cases, my point is still valid. That war was sold with propoganda that bounced back and was believed by the politicians, media, and the people - for a while.

Things were going great, the Vietnamese were standing up strongly, and the USA was standing down. The future looked bright.

Sadly, that was not the reality. The minute the North Vietnamese attacked in strength, the house of cards tumbled to the ground. All the previous propoganda meant little, when those "strong" South Vietnamese Army units gave up the fight.

We see much the same pattern today, with Iraqi security forces involved in corruption and death squads. I'm not sure if it still applies, but for a time US forces were not releasing certain information before raids - because there were moles inside the Iraq security teams.

Grenades have been thrown within secure compounds, and one US soldier was killed by Iraqi security forces quite deliberately.

My feeling is that they, like the Vietnamese, realize that once the USA leaves - they are alone to fend for themselves. That means many will join the opposite side, or at least help them in some way.

Their religious, tribal, and family loyalties will always be stronger than any attachment to foreigners - or their political ideologies.
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