Sunday, October 01, 2006
So why is it such a shocker that the insurgents are fighting like insurgents?
Donald Rumsfeld is saying that it was a big surprise that the insurgency is so tough. This shock all basically comes down to the fact that the insurgents are fighting very much like the PLO.
It seems to me that this begs the question: should figuring out that the insurgents would fight like the PLO really have been all that hard?
Honestly, how would YOU fight an urban war in an Arab country? Even I would know to look at some people who have been doing it more or less sucessfully for decades and try to do what they're doing.
The whole situation is reminding me of the 2002 Millenium Challenge war game where Lt. General Van Riper, the guy leading the "terrorist" team, applied those sorts of tactics on a large scale and won doing things like landing his planes with lights when the US took out his communications.
The US got it's butt kicked by exactly the sorts of jury-rigged approaches that the insurgents are using today.
Did we think about it? Did we change the way we would approach the war and work on doing something that would make these tactics less effective?
No, the US team whined that he wasn't playing fair by being competant. So they changed the rules of the game and forced Van Riper to allow the US to destroy some of his stuff so the US would win and it would look good in the papers.
Then we applied exactly the tactics that screwed up the war game to this real war, and watched people start to die.
I'm sorry, asking for the army to have predicted that the insurgents would fight like insurgents is not a lot. I'm no military strategist, but the whole "Well, yes we knew they had booze and rags. But we had NO IDEA they had the capability to put those two things together and make molotov cocktails. We can't think of everything! How dare those liberals expect us to be compentent!" argument really cheeses me off.
Ps. Here's another good article on the Millenium Challenge and what it should have meant to us.
Pps. I knew Mark Foley was gay and have known since my time working as a fundraiser for Republican members of congress. If *I* knew, lots of people knew. But nobody really talked about it. I knew he was somewhat indiscreet in his invitations, but I didn't know his tastes ran to teenage boys. (Though they don't ONLY run to teenage boys, judging by the other person he hit on.) Washington is weird like this. I can't imagine what gay Republican politicians go through.