Monday, November 27, 2006

Solutions in Iraq

I am not a military genius, but during my life, we have fought five major wars, and numerous minor engagements. Simple observation, plus some military experience, mated up with the fact that I don't have a a personal agenda, qualifies me to speak on this subject.

What got me started, was reading a fine editorial by Michael Goodwin of the New York Daily News. To paraphrase him, we need an outside the box solution, not just a tweaking of the existing plan. (I use that word loosely)

He goes on to suggest embedding US troops in the police and army units. The logic here is sound. These folks can't very well take off on a vengeance crusade, with our people with them. He further wonders why this hasn't already taken place. I think I have the answer to that one. Politics. We set out to turn the government back to the Iraqi people too soon. Having wed ourselves to that course, our government is having trouble using reverse gear.

Back in the Sixties, President Kennedy set up an irregular Army unit called Special Forces. They were irregular in the sense that they did not exist to fight battles and charge the enemy, as the Rangers did. They led indigenous forces that were under trained for their mission, in fighting their own battles.

Sound familiar? Yup! The mission that the Green Berets fulfilled in Viet Nam. Today we have a large contingent of these A-Teams available, but we aren't using them for which they were trained. The following is a cut & paste from the Army mission that explains the Special Forces and their role.

Special Forces Operational Detachment A (SFOD A) The "A Detachment" or "A Team" is the basic SF unit. This twelve man unit is specifically designed to organize, equip, train, advise or direct, and support indigenous military or paramilitary forces in UW and FD operations. The detachment has a commander (Captain), XO (Warrant Officer), and two enlisted specialists in each of the five SF functional areas: operations, weapons, engineers, medical, and communications. Each SF company has one SFOD A trained in combat diving and one SFOD A trained in military free-fall parachuting.

Attach these guys to each Iraqi unit, with the ability to call in air strikes if necessary and we might find a way out of this mess. We then pull back our line troops to the porous borders of Iran and Syria to hold territorial integrity.

That's my take on this...If any of you have a better idea, let's hear it...


Word Tosser said...

it might work, but.... I think if we take our guys, and dress them like everyone else over there, maybe that would help. They could also drive what everyone else does. This is kind of tongue in cheek idea.
But seriously, if we were to give you a gun and told you to watch out for the enemy. Then we send you to down down Spokane during Bloomsday, and tell you there are 1000 of the enemy and the rest are good citizens...but we don't tell you which ones. But You are in a uniform.. with a gun... so they know who you are. Now isn't that kind of what Iraq is? How do you win something like that?

Joe O. said...

Those on the "white side" of Special Forces have been pushing this for quite a while. The military decided that "Commissioned Officers" was a better choice.

Herb said...

Joe O. If you are still tuned in, please e-mail me at

I need to learn more about the short hard to understand message you left.