News Hearts and Minds

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brewnog

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Art said:
This came to the fore when British troops (the Black Watch regiment) were redeployed near to Baghdad late last year in support of US forces for their attack on Fallujah. There was public uproar in Britain as it was feared by acting in close concert with US forces, they would be tarred with the same brush by the Iraqi people.
The reason for the public uproar was nothing to do with how the Iraqis would feel towards the British troops. It was because most of the British public (especially the troops' families) disagreed with the way the action was being carried out, and particularly that British soldiers were being put under direct control of the US.

stoned said:
brits are the same as americans, the thing is british have only 1000 soldiers while americans 200,000.
Where are these numbers coming from?
 
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Art said:
The contrast in how the two situations were handled was very striking. Is this perhaps part of the reason why the US military are finding it so hard to win the battle for the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people?
What do you mean "finding it hard" to win the battle for "hearts and minds?" According to the http://brookings.edu/dybdocroot/fp/saban/iraq/index.pdf [Broken], put out by the center-left Brookings Institution, 67 percent of Iraqis believe their country is moving in the right direction. Only residents in the Sunni areas report a majority dissatisfaction with the direction of the country.

Rev Prez
 
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Rev Prez said:
What do you mean "finding it hard" to win the battle for "hearts and minds?" According to the http://brookings.edu/dybdocroot/fp/saban/iraq/index.pdf [Broken], put out by the center-left Brookings Institution, 67 percent of Iraqis believe their country is moving in the right direction. Only residents in the Sunni areas report a majority dissatisfaction with the direction of the country.

Rev Prez
Just a little FYI, the stat you've presented is not from the Brookings institute. Brookings is presenting it but the statistic itself came from the International republican Institute.

http://www.iri.org/

The IRI (formerly the National Republican Institute for International Affairs) is akin to radio free in that it's purpose since founding is to foister the "Amerian" ideal of good governance on the rest of the world by hell or high water if need be.
 
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lol.. good call faust, that's hilarious and enlightening stuff...
 
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faust9 said:
Just a little FYI, the stat you've presented is not from the Brookings institute. Brookings is presenting it but the statistic itself came from the International republican Institute.
Can you identify a problem in the methodology?

Rev Prez
 

Art

Rev Prez said:
What do you mean "finding it hard" to win the battle for "hearts and minds?" According to the http://brookings.edu/dybdocroot/fp/saban/iraq/index.pdf [Broken], put out by the center-left Brookings Institution, 67 percent of Iraqis believe their country is moving in the right direction. Only residents in the Sunni areas report a majority dissatisfaction with the direction of the country.

Rev Prez
Ref earlier analogy with N. Ireland the British gov't also commanded a 66% approval rating (from the unionist majority) in N.I. but this didn't help win over the hearts and minds of the people they were actually fighting.
The report you cited also shows that the number of active insurgents has risen from an estimated 5000 in Nov 2003 to 16,000 in April 2005 despite many being killed/captured in the same time frame. To me this suggests the situation is deteriorating with new people becoming alienated at a faster rate than the American forces can kill or capture them. For those who would claim (such as Bush) the numbers have swollen due to an influx of foreign fighters the report also says their number has risen from 500 - 1000 in this same period and so are not a significant factor.
As I intimated earlier insurgents need a massive support infrastructure to operate effectively and so unless the US gov't changes tack and trys to win over the majority of the Sunnis to bring them back into the middle ground and so deny the extremists their support mechanism I suspect things will continue to get worse.
 
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Art

brewnog said:
The reason for the public uproar was nothing to do with how the Iraqis would feel towards the British troops. It was because most of the British public (especially the troops' families) disagreed with the way the action was being carried out, and particularly that British soldiers were being put under direct control of the US.
Extracts from linked article detailing quotes from members of the Black Watch
But while the officers retain undiminished faith in their men's ability, they are worried that the atmosphere created by the more aggressive tactics of the American troops will leave the British soldiers with a difficult task in picking up the pieces.
"We have heard a lot about the triangle of death, which makes everyone nervous because it seems much worse up there than it has been down here. We have controlled the situation down here while the Americans seem to have ruined it up there."
The revelation that the Black Watch was to be sent to the area around Iskanderiyah provoked great controversy, with critics saying that the difference between British and American tactics was bound to cause problems.
"The one thing the Jocks are good at is winning hearts and minds," a former Black Watch officer said. "They are the perfect combination of a fighting regiment that also understands the need to win over the local population. The first 48 to 72 hours are going to be pretty tough. But I do think that after a while the Iraqis will realise that these are the good guys."
http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/article.asp?ID=2420 [Broken]
 
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Art said:
Ref earlier analogy with N. Ireland the British gov't also commanded a 66% approval rating (from the unionist majority) in N.I. but this didn't help win over the hearts and minds of the people they were actually fighting.
You mean PIRA? I guess not. But then you'd have to show the value of trying to win over their hearts and minds versus capturing or killing them.

The report you cited also shows that the number of active insurgents has risen from an estimated 5000 in Nov 2003 to 16,000 in April 2005 despite many being killed/captured in the same time frame.
It shows that estimates of the strength of the insurgency have risen, not something unexpected as the enemy organizes itself. Either way, we outnumber the enemy 7 to 1, and those right track/wrong track numbers can't be denied.

To me this suggests the situation is deteriorating with new people becoming alienated at a faster rate than the American forces can kill or capture them.
You'd have to believe that new people were alienated, which is ridiculous. You're suggesting all but 2000 of the several hundred thousand Iraqi forces that caved in March and April 2003 were all for the American invasion. That's ten times less the size of Hussein's Republican Guard and personal paramilitary units.

For those who would claim (such as Bush)...
Chapter and verse please. Otherwise, let's skip this strawman and move on.

...the numbers have swollen due to an influx of foreign fighters the report also says their number has risen from 500 - 1000 in this same period and so are not a significant factor.
Almost all of the suicide attacks are committed by foreign fighters. Their imprint is far larger than their representation in the insurgency would suggest.

As I intimated earlier insurgents need a massive support infrastructure to operate effectively...
Bull****. If you know where to get explosives and ammunition, and you know how to use telephones, what else do you need except an occasional pick up between cities and a place to eat and sleep? Don't make claims you can't even back up qualitatively, let alone quantitatively.

Rev Prez
 

Art

Rev Prez said:
You mean PIRA? I guess not. But then you'd have to show the value of trying to win over their hearts and minds versus capturing or killing them.
As I previously stated the British tried the kill and capture approach for 25 years. It did not work.
Rev Prez said:
It shows that estimates of the strength of the insurgency have risen, not something unexpected as the enemy organizes itself. Either way, we outnumber the enemy 7 to 1, and those right track/wrong track numbers can't be denied.
Not sure what your ratio is supposed to mean?? As for the right track figures I've already answered that.
Rev Prez said:
You'd have to believe that new people were alienated, which is ridiculous. You're suggesting all but 2000 of the several hundred thousand Iraqi forces that caved in March and April 2003 were all for the American invasion. That's ten times less the size of Hussein's Republican Guard and personal paramilitary units.
What are you raving about? You provided the reference, not me, I'm merely quoting from it. Are you disputing your own source????

Rev Prez said:
Chapter and verse please. Otherwise, let's skip this strawman and move on.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/05/20040524-10.html [Broken]
http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=5657 [Broken]
http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/17072/
I could go on...............
Rev Prez said:
Almost all of the suicide attacks are committed by foreign fighters. Their imprint is far larger than their representation in the insurgency would suggest.
Now where did you hear that? Oh yes Bush said it :rofl: Which directly contradicts your stance in the previous paragraph. Please at least make an effort to be consistant in your arguments.

Rev Prez said:
Bull****. If you know where to get explosives and ammunition, and you know how to use telephones, what else do you need except an occasional pick up between cities and a place to eat and sleep? Don't make claims you can't even back up qualitatively, let alone quantitatively.
Apart from those requirements you listed, the one thing the insurgents need above all others is the acquiesence of the communities in which they live. For example if your next door neighbour went out regularly at night to shoot policemen you would probably report your suspicians to the police but if you detested those same policemen you may decide to keep quiet.
 
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Big Papa said:
During World War Ii the British and American forces had different ways of handling things. If you go to your state library and get the Time/ Life books on World War II there is one on D-Day. You see on the cover British solders getting off a boat like it's a vacation. Now the reason why they didn't have the same problems as the American's was due to a series of Tanks. Now it's been a few years since I read this so please excuse the fact that I don't have the exact name of the general of the tanks of the exact names of the tanks. Basically they were different Sherman tanks. One had removable flaps and a propeller so it could move in the ocean. incidently this is the only kind the American's accepted to take on their beaches. Then there was another that rolled out (bamboo?) poles with a matterial made out of coconut fiber. This was so heavy equipment could go on this tarp without sinking in the sand. Then they had another in which a tank could lay a small type of bridge over the walls. Then they had another in which a triagle shape basken was shot out of it's special cannon for clearing pill boxes. Then they had a flame throwing tank. They had a mind weeper tank and one that was like a tow truck tank. Basically they uysed thier heads. The Americans refused it and got alot of people killed.
Not at all accurate, but since you brought WW2 up, and the US military is again being depicted as a bunch of irresponsible Yahoos with 500lb bombs, let me just remind you that while all others (including the British) performed night-time raids on population centres because it was too difficult to accurately target the smaller plants and bases with the AA capabilities during daytime, it was only the 8th airforce that performed daytime raids, specifically targeting infrastructure and airbases, and the Americans paid dearly for that.
How quickly they forget.
 

Art

Yonoz said:
Not at all accurate, but since you brought WW2 up, and the US military is again being depicted as a bunch of irresponsible Yahoos with 500lb bombs, let me just remind you that while all others (including the British) performed night-time raids on population centres because it was too difficult to accurately target the smaller plants and bases with the AA capabilities during daytime, it was only the 8th airforce that performed daytime raids, specifically targeting infrastructure and airbases, and the Americans paid dearly for that.
How quickly they forget.
It's kind of relevent that the US bombers in the Japanese theatre the B29s, could drop their munitions from a far greater height than the British thus staying above the fighter sceens. In europe they used mainly the B17 flying fortress which had a huge amount of close contact defensive weapon systems on board.
 
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selfAdjoint

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Art said:
It's kind of relevent that the US bombers B29s could drop their munitions from a far greater height than the British thus staying above the fighter sceens.
B-29s were not used in Europe. Mostly it was B-17s ("Flying Fortresses") and B-24s ("Liberators"). They didn't fly higher than the British bombers and they, as the saying goes, took a lot of flak. They did have better accuracy although there was no great effort to minimize collateral damage.
 

Art

selfAdjoint said:
B-29s were not used in Europe. Mostly it was B-17s ("Flying Fortresses") and B-24s ("Liberators"). They didn't fly higher than the British bombers and they, as the saying goes, took a lot of flak. They did have better accuracy although there was no great effort to minimize collateral damage.
Yes' I was just amending my original post to distinguish between the two different theatres
 
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Art said:
It's kind of relevent that the US bombers in the Japanese theatre the B29s, could drop their munitions from a far greater height than the British thus staying above the fighter sceens.
The 8th air force operated in the European theatre.
Art said:
In europe they used mainly the B17 flying fortress which had a huge amount of close contact defensive weapon systems on board.
That still does not alter the fact that while other air forces flew bombing missions at night time to avoid casualties (and as a result could only target civilian populations most of the time), the US 8th airforce sacrificed many men so that they could bomb actual targets. The amount of defence on board is also irrelevant as the massive losses occured in spite of it.
The point I am trying to make is that the US military is not the pack of war-mongers it is made to be (most of the time, I'm just as appalled as the next person over the prisoner abuses).
 

alexandra

Rev Prez said:
Almost all of the suicide attacks are committed by foreign fighters. Their imprint is far larger than their representation in the insurgency would suggest.
Evidence, please? (Truly, I'm interested in hard facts on this issue).
 

alexandra

Art wrote:
As I intimated earlier insurgents need a massive support infrastructure to operate effectively...
, to which you responded:
Rev Prez said:
Bull****. If you know where to get explosives and ammunition, and you know how to use telephones, what else do you need except an occasional pick up between cities and a place to eat and sleep? Don't make claims you can't even back up qualitatively, let alone quantitatively.

Rev Prez
And here's what globalsecurity.org has to say about this:
Chapter V. Conclusion

Since Che Guevara's death in 1967, the nature of guerrilla
warfare has changed little. Whether one is a student of Sun-Tuz,
Clausewitz, Nepoleon, Mao-Tse-Tung or Che Guevara, it is obvious
that the activity of war is conducted in accordance with a set
of fundamental precepts which have remained constant throughout
history. The only thing that has changed and which continues to
evolve is how these principles are applied to meet the challenges
posed by the different physical environments and situations in
which wars are fought.

Marines deployed to conduct counter-guerrilla operations can
expect to face a crafty well trained opponent equipped with many
of the same lethal and sophisticated weapons available in the
Corps' own inventory. Operating from secure bases in remote
rural areas and hidden urban enclaves, the guerrilla fighter will
have the distinct advantages of knowing the terrain upon which he
operates, a total commitment to the cause for which he is fight-
ing and the moral support from his fellow citizens. In such a
situation, Marine Corps forces must be willing to fight a war of
repeated limited engagements where manuever, mass and security
will be paramount. They must also be prepared to suffer the
manpower attrition associated with this kind of warfare.
Reference: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/1988/CJK.htm
My point? Perhaps you should do some research before responding to others' posts..?
 

Art

Yonoz said:
The 8th air force operated in the European theatre.
That still does not alter the fact that while other air forces flew bombing missions at night time to avoid casualties (and as a result could only target civilian populations most of the time), the US 8th airforce sacrificed many men so that they could bomb actual targets. The amount of defence on board is also irrelevant as the massive losses occured in spite of it.
The point I am trying to make is that the US military is not the pack of war-mongers it is made to be (most of the time, I'm just as appalled as the next person over the prisoner abuses).
Strategic air bombing with the aim to demoralise and break the will of an enemy by flattening it's cities was first put forward as a theory in England shortly after the end of WW1 following the success Germany had achieved in demoralising the British with it's Gotha bomber raids on London in 1917-18. It was championed in England by Major-General Hugh Trenchard and in 1920 in the USA was enthusiastically supported by Brigadier-General Warren Mitchell. The navigation and range finding equipment available in the first few years of the war were totally inadequate for pinpoint bombing by day or night. In Aug 1941 the Butt report showed that only 10% of British bombers were succeeding in dropping their bombs within 5 miles of the target. In Feb 1942 'Bomber' Harris became CIC of bomber command. His idea was to compensate for poor accuracy with sheer numbers and began his 1000 bomber raids in May of that year. Although he was the chief architect and proponent of the attacks on German cities it is wrong to suggest the American 8th USAAF did not participate. For example the centre of Hamburg was flattened in joint British/USA raids involving 800 bombers on the 24th and 26th July 1943. Radar and nightfighters had made it very dangerous for bombers whether they attacked by day or by night and in fact British losses over Berlin, between Nov 43 - Mar 44, of 5.2% losses (1047 lost and 1682 damaged) resulted in the campaign being abandoned.
The Americans did not fly at night for the simple reason they had not been trained to at that time and so did not assist in the campaign over Berlin because to attack during the day would have been suicide. After the Berlin bombing Harris's masters who were unconvinced that strategic air bombing was having the desired effect ordered him to redirect his forces to attack the luftwaffe and it's supporting infrastructure to prepare the way for the 'D' day landings. He did so reluctantly but in the event the combined bomber forces were very successful to the extent that the Germans defending the beaches are said to have had a joke; "If it's blue it's British, if it's silver it's American and if it's invisible it's ours"
In summary your overall claim that the American forces did not target civilian population centres in europe is wrong although I agree not to the same extent as the British. However in the Japanese theatre the nuclear attacks on Nagasaki and Hiroshima were inarguably attacks on civilian centres as was the fire bombing of Tokyo.
 
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Art said:
In summary your overall claim that the American forces did not target civilian population centres in europe is wrong although I agree not to the same extent as the British. However in the Japanese theatre the nuclear attacks on Nagasaki and Hiroshima were inarguably attacks on civilian centres as was the fire bombing of Tokyo.
This is far more than "not to the same extent". The operational concept was completely different. Sure you can find an example of a few instances where US bombers paticipated in bombing of cities, but as a whole the Americans did not bomb cities as a strategy whereas the Brits and Germans did.
The use of the bombs on Japan is another concept, I wouldn't mind discussing it but I know exactly what the discussion is going to deteriorate into. :yuck:
 

Art

Yonoz said:
This is far more than "not to the same extent". The operational concept was completely different. Sure you can find an example of a few instances where US bombers paticipated in bombing of cities, but as a whole the Americans did not bomb cities as a strategy whereas the Brits and Germans did.
The use of the bombs on Japan is another concept, I wouldn't mind discussing it but I know exactly what the discussion is going to deteriorate into. :yuck:
The British strategic air offensive was part of a joint effort with it's operational parameters agreed at the Washington Conference. General H. H. Arnold the Commanding General of the US Army Air Forces was convinced that if bombers were well armed and armoured, flew high enough and in close formation they could make daylight raids without suffering heavy casualties. This proved a fallacy as did the RAF's belief in evading interference by operating at night.
On more than "a few" occasions US bombers did try daylight attacks on German cities but their losses were horrendous. A few examples; in the Bremen raid April 17th 1943 of 115 bombers deployed 16 were lost and 44 damaged. In the Kiel raid of June 13th the loss was 22 out of 66 B17s. In a raid on Hanover in July losses were 24 out of 92; against Berlin on July 28th it was 22 out of 120.
My point is that while it is certain that the US signed up to the strategic air offensive and it's targets (including civilian population centres) at the Washington Conference, it is less certain whether the USAAF dropped fewer munitions on German cities because of the moral issues or because it was just too dangerous to do it during the day. My own opinion is it was a mixture of both reasons which is why I said earlier that I would consider 'Bomber Harris' to be the most culpable in the deliberate targeting of civilians.
The key conclusion of all of this is that post-war analysis determined that Harris's fixation on trying to bomb the Germans into submission was counter-productive and actually lenghtened the war by several months as it diverted resources from far more worthwhile targets.
 
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It's incredible what lengths you'll go to in order to avoid giving anything American the little credit it deserves.
 

Art

Yonoz said:
It's incredible what lengths you'll go to in order to avoid giving anything American the little credit it deserves.
Like researching FACTS you mean???????????? :uhh:
 
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Art said:
Like researching FACTS you mean???????????? :uhh:
Look at the way you phrase this:
Art said:
My point is that while it is certain that the US signed up to the strategic air offensive and it's targets (including civilian population centres) at the Washington Conference, it is less certain whether the USAAF dropped fewer munitions on German cities because of the moral issues or because it was just too dangerous to do it during the day. My own opinion is it was a mixture of both reasons which is why I said earlier that I would consider 'Bomber Harris' to be the most culpable in the deliberate targeting of civilians.
The facts remain, the British bombed mainly during the night, the Americans didn't and targeted less civilian targets. You bend head over heels to twist this so that you would not have to acknowledge that the Americans showed superior morals to other nations.
 

russ_watters

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It's incredible what lengths you'll go to in order to avoid giving anything American the little credit it deserves.
Art said:
Like researching FACTS you mean???????????? :uhh:
Well, he could also mean like moving vastly off topic and arguing against your own facts once you realized the facts were no longer in your favor. Remember the 40 vs 2? Those numbers are facts - or at least they were until you realized what they meant and insinuated that the 40 was wrong, then quickly changed topic to general US-bashing. :uhh:

No, no bias for you... :rolleyes:
 

Art

russ_watters said:
Well, he could also mean like moving vastly off topic and arguing against your own facts once you realized the facts were no longer in your favor. Remember the 40 vs 2? Those numbers are facts - or at least they were until you realized what they meant and insinuated that the 40 was wrong, then quickly changed topic to general US-bashing. :uhh:

No, no bias for you... :rolleyes:
Russ I have no idea what you are rabbiting on about........ in your haste to attack the messenger you do not seem to have read the message,
I will agree that WW2 is off topic but if you check back you will see I didn't raise this sub-topic, I responded to other people's posts. Far from US bashing I thought my comments with regard to USAAF activities during the war were very even handed and supported my opinions with FACTS. If I had simply wanted to bash America I would have harped on about Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki but I didn't.
As for the common mis-conception that the US bombed during the day to ensure accuracy, this is simply nonsense. I have already provided the FACTUAL reaons why the US bombed by day and the British bombed by night. With the equipment available in 1943 it was quite simply impossible to drop bombs with an accuracy greater than a few miles from a height of 37,500 ft (the ceiling for the B17) which btw was 10,000 ft higher than the ceiling for the British Lancaster bomber. http://www.aviation-history.com/boeing/b17.html http://www.worldaircorps.com/airplanes/am239.htm
I had no intentions of using this thread to flame Americans. My intention was to suggest that perhaps a change in tactics might SAVE American lives. How this is construed as bias against Americans is totally beyond me. :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
 
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Yonoz said:
It's incredible what lengths you'll go to in order to avoid giving anything American the little credit it deserves.
There are a million and one things you could say about America that would give it plenty of credit it deserves. Just because the first one you bring up is refuted so easily doesn't make him anti-american.
 

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