Skip to comments.A Must Read, Rules Of Engagement...
Posted on 08/27/2006 6:03:21 AM PDT by gunnyg
Note: The above is from "Sully" aka: Shrink Without Borders Piedpiper6@goliad.net
Dr. R. E. Sullivan, Ph.D. Col USMC (Ret.) 1944-67 http://www.sullyusmc.com/ ~~~~~ ~~~~~
Re: A MUST read
Shrink Without Borders to 11:23 am (1� hours ago) Gentlemen:
For reasons of historical verity only:
1. Our ROE in Korea were very simple. If there was a bad guy we could go after him with everything we had. Made no difference if he was hiding in a building with 200 civilians. Anyone who witnessed the utter destruction of Seoul between 26/29 September, 1950, will attest to that. And, should you not have heard my story about chasing one lonely Luke the Gook with 16" shells from the "Mighty Mo" I'll have to retell it. Suffice it to say that a goodly portion of the 5th Marines witnessed this affair from a bluff overlooking the Han River, and cheered mightily when old Luke the Gook climbed out of the river unscathed and took to the weeds on the north side.
2. In re Viet Nam, I know not what others may have done, but in my battalion the senior Marine with whatever size element that was fired on had standing orders that if fired at from a hootch, hill, or castle that he would ALWAYS be able to instantly identify the precise source of the incoming, and direct his command reply in kind. I must add that when first assuming command, and learning that every outgoing round must be accounted for and reported as to time and place, I was more than somewhat stunned. However, as my old friend and mentor Col Guildo Codespoti taught me, whatever Higher Headquarters wants, report it to them as though it went down that way. If they want 100% Church Attendance, report that it is so. If they want 0% Venereal Disease Rate, so be it, and so report it. Any Surgeon or Chaplain who raises an eyebrow....well, we could handle them too if they should be so foolish as to challenge the units Good Works. And what looks good on the Division Reports for the bean counters, is automatically good. There are those who seem to believe that such attributes as Church Attendance and lack of Venereal Disease make for an outstanding fighting element of our Beloved Corps. And what did Chesty say about giving him all the Brig Rats of the Corps and he would storm the Gates of Hell?
Guildo didn't make Colonel until the second time around. Seems that his appearing in a clown suit for his class photograph on graduation from the Senior Amphibious Warfare School at Quantico had upset some folks. Some people have no sense of humor. However, Guildo was known as one of the finest Operations Officers of his day, and you can't keep a good man down forever regardless of his thoughts as to the curriculum of at least one Marine Corps school where we supposedly educated our "Best and Brightest."
Then there was the day when I'd divided the battalion into four columns to sweep while leaving the Ap Co Bi-Thanh Tan area. As we snooped and pooped our way back to Hwy 1 and our base area, MGen Woody Kyle, 3dMarDiv CG, orbited above in a chopper. (Please note: In the MC BnCmdrs walked, not rode in a chopper above the fray.) When he noted that the entire area seemed to be on fire he inquired as to what the hell I was doing. My reply: "Sir, I'm registering my arty with willy peter, and it is inevitable that a few hootches, here and there, will be burned down in the process." Dead silence on my Prick 25, then a "carry on" from the CG.
I could add to the foregoing that there were no restrictions placed on the 1stMarDiv in China on those occasions when we had been targeted from villes. And certainly, there was little left of built up areas on such beauty spots as Saipan, Guam and Okinawa by the time the battle was over. And in the "Banana Wars" none of the participants I knew and respected ever mentioned ROE. Seems to me that I haven't heard any such tales from WW I either. And then there was the "Henry House" at First Manassas, which as we all know was not spared any more than the occupants.
So the present situation faced by my Brothers and Sisters in Blood is entirely unique at least to my knowledge.
I came to a number of conclusions some years ago regarding the present "movers and shakers" who we elected to run the present contretemps. Ain't democracy wunnerful? Conversely, the few people I believe could do a much better job, such as Colin Powell, refuse the laurel. And the death of each one of our Brothers and Sisters becomes the reason for the death of the next.....where have I heard that before?
All of this should precipitate a new fourth party and let me be the first to cheer.....BIG VINNIE FOR PRESIDENT! With BV as POTUS, it would make it possible for many of us who so desire to reenter government service. In my case, I'd petition BV for a fire team leader's position in C/1/5....What the hell, the victors have a right to divide the spoils....Semper Fidelis, Sully
----- Original Message ----- From: (Name Removed) To: Distribution List Sent: Saturday, August 26, 2006 5:28 AM Subject: RE: A MUST read
OK...hold up your hands if you're surprised by any of this. Let's check the history books, sportsfans.....
Did we not handcuff our troops in Korea in the early 50's in much the same way?
And we all certainly recall that many American troops died in the steamy **** hole of Viet Nam with ROE's that seem as if they were written by the same castrated group.
Oh, and Somalia. Weren't American bodies dragged through the streets there because we really couldn't kill the scumbags who were killing us.
Yes, all, we are a civilied lot. And since those in charge (A) Never got shot at themselves in a hostile action, and (B) Will never have their chi-ren get shot at in a hostile action, well, we have an expendable supply of human sacrifices available so as to make the world think we Amurikins are really swell folks. Sort of the same mentality that allows our borders to be overrun without response.
And to Herr Kelly der Elders comments.....did I not call this on Bush when he handed Viegas back to the Puerto Ricans? Did I not scream bloody murder about what a traitor he was to his "support the military" pontifications when he did that? So why should we be surprised that he gave the rah-rah "if you're not with us you're agin us" speech, then turns around and makes our troops play patty cake with people who are really punching. As Leon Spinks once said "Everybody's got a game plan until you get punched". Well, we got punched....we do every day....and the game plan crumbled.
I go now to projectile vomit.
Big Vinnie LtCol USMC (Ret) "Retired" my ass...they threw me out kickin' and screamin'
Islam is a hate group
"The West has the power to destroy any danger, but it does not have the will." - Thomas Sowell
Remember Robert Stethem - Boycott Germany
Vicente Fox said building a wall on the border is shameful. The poverty and corruption in Mexico that drives his people here is what's shameful!
-----Original Message----- From: (Name Removed) Sent: Friday, August 25, 2006 2:02 PM To: Distribution Live Subject: RE: A MUST read
Kampfbundt, And now you know why I think Bush is a smarmy pencil-neck-asthenic twerp, that Rumsfield the smug is a twitchy little stoat who should be thrown in a HMMWV with his family and forced to ride up-and-down the streets of Ramadi 24-7, that the treasonous-craven democrap poltroons suck and should be hung from the nearest lamp-post with placards draped around their wattle-strewn necks proclaiming that "I am a filthy and dastardly spit-bucket opportunist who provides daily comfort to those who would hack my head off with a dung-encrusted shovel and then kick it down the street...mainly because my kids will never serve this nation since they are all in law school or are politico-scumbags-in-waiting," and cowering quake-buttock republicraps are beneath even a modicum of "contemptible status" in their gelded role as power-broking eunichs... And they're all killing Marines. Kelly, out
-----Original Message----- From: (Name Removed) Sent: Friday, August 25, 2006 12:22 To: Distribution List Subject: Fwd: A MUST read
GORDON DILLOW Register columnist GLDillow@aol.com We call it "the war in Iraq." But to many of the Marines here, it's not really a war - at least not on their side. "They are fighting a war," a Marine from 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment tells me - "they" meaning the insurgents lurking "outside the wire" of a Marine forward operating base in the Euphrates River town of Barwanah, in western Al Anbar province. "But us?" the Marine goes on. "We aren't fighting a war. We're just doing a police action." The young Marine is right. While the insurgents here and throughout Iraq battle American Marines and soldiers with deadly weapons of warfare - IEDs ("improvised explosive devices," or roadside bombs), sniper attacks, mortars, two of which exploded near this forward operating base just the day before - the Marines have to respond under "rules of engagement," or "ROEs," that would be familiar to any cop in America. Are the Marines catching sniper rounds from a cluster of buildings in the city? In a conventional war, that would be reason enough to light up the buildings with suppressive fire. But under the Iraq ROEs, unless the Marines get "P.I.D." or "positive identification" - eyes on a guy with a rifle, or a muzzle flash, something very localized and specific - they can't fire back. Do the Marines see four young males fleeing the scene of an IED attack? The Marines can try to chase them down in vehicles or on foot - this while the Marines are carrying 60 or 70 pounds of equipment on their backs - but they can't even fire warning shots from their M-16s, much less lethal ones, to try to make them stop. Under the rules, if the suspects are running away, if they pose no direct and immediate threat to the Marines, the most the Marines can do is shoot "pyro," small flares, as a warning - a warning that Marines believe simply leaves the fleeing enemy laughing. And so on. By tradition and temperament, a Marine infantry company is a blunt instrument, designed to storm a beach or take a building with force and violence that overwhelms the enemy; it's a hammer, not a scalpel. But in the confusing world of urban counterinsurgency warfare, Marine infantrymen here find themselves bound by rules that often seem more appropriate to the streets of an American city than to an actual combat zone. True, in the rare event of an all-out firefight, a direct confrontation with the enemy, the rules change. When faced with a conventional attack by insurgents, Marines can respond conventionally, with overwhelming firepower. But in routine, day-to-day operations, every single shot fired by Marines here must be documented and reviewed by higher command. Let me repeat that: Every single shot fired by Marines is reported to and reviewed by higher command - regimental level or above - to make sure that it conformed to the ROEs. The rules are unquestionably well-intentioned, and in the long and bloody annals of warfare, almost uniquely American. They are designed to minimize Iraqi civilian casualties - and in a conflict that is as much or more political as it is military, at the upper levels of command perhaps the rules make sense. But to the grunts on the ground, where the wounding and dying is, they are a source of endless frustration. "Seems like you can't even spit around here without getting investigated," says one young Marine - although of course he didn't actually say "spit." "It's absurd," says a Navy corpsman assigned to the Marines. "It makes the bad guys think we're weak." Even senior Marine officers, whose job it is to see the big picture, and to enforce the rules of engagement established by higher command, understand only too well how hard it is for a 19- or 20-year-old lance corporal to be shot at or IED'd day after day and not be able to shoot back at enemies who hide behind and among civilians. "It's a tough, tough thing for them," says 3/3 battalion commander Lt. Col. Norm Cooling. "I always tell them (the junior Marines) that fighting a counterinsurgency is a lot harder, mentally, intellectually and spiritually, than fighting a conventional war. ... The (insurgents) know that they can play by a different set of rules than we can, and they take advantage of it." It wasn't always that way. Young Marines on their first tour in Iraq are often astonished - and even a little envious - when I tell them about being with a Marine infantry company in OIF I (Operation Iraqi Freedom I), the initial march up to Baghdad in the spring of 2003. There were rules of engagement then, too, but it was also an actual war - and the basic, unwritten rule of engagement was that for every enemy round that came in, the Marines would send a thousand rounds back. Did that sometimes cause Iraqi civilian casualties? Yes, unavoidably. But it also saved American lives - and you could argue that in the long run it saved Iraqi lives as well, because it left the enemy either intimidated or dead, and shortened the initial conflict. But no longer. The Marines here know they are under close scrutiny - by the press, by the politicians and by the often fickle American public. And that knowledge permeates almost everything they do. For example, I sat in with Marine officers and NCOs planning a night raid to capture a sniper who had been taking potshots at Marines in Barwanah. Aware that a reporter was present, and not sure how their comments might be interpreted, some of the Marines were careful to describe the sniper not as simply "the sniper," but as "the alleged sniper." These are tough, brave men, American warriors. But sitting in that briefing room, it was almost as if the Marines saw the ghost of Johnnie Cochran hovering in the corner, just waiting to sue them for violating the sniper's - that is, the alleged sniper's - civil rights. Still, while the Marines may gripe about the ROEs, they are Marines - which means they also obey them. Anyone who thinks American troops are running wild in Iraq, recklessly shooting at anything that moves, has probably never been to Iraq. For every charge of excessive force by American troops, such as the allegations about the killings of civilians in Haditha, there are hundreds of unreported and unheralded examples of American Marines and soldiers showing astonishing restraint in their use of force. Again, in counterinsurgency warfare, where battle is waged not only in the streets but in hearts and minds and TV news broadcasts, perhaps that is sound policy. If the goal is to win over the people, and not just to kill the enemy, perhaps there is no alternative. But no one should doubt that American Marines and soldiers are paying for their restraint, and for the American concern about civilian casualties.. They are paying for it in blood - their own blood. The day after I spoke with those Marines in Barwanah, an IED hit a Marine 7-ton truck that was on patrol in the town, fortunately causing only minor injuries, and insurgent mortar rounds again landed near the Marines' forward operating base. The enemy was continuing to wage war. And the Marines were continuing their police action. CONTACT US: Gordon Dillow has been a Register columnist for 10 years. A graduate of the University of Montana journalism school, he served as a U.S. Army sergeant in Vietnam in 1971-72. Contact him at 714-796-7953 or at GLDillow@aol.com
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Outstanding, Sully!!!!! With your permission I will e-mail/post all around? S... 12:07 pm (55 minutes ago)
Richard Gaines ---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: Shrink Without Borders Shrink Without Borders
12:52 pm (10 minutes ago) Gunny G:
Please do. Just looked at it again and it appears that I've sanitized it in the sense that I've removed all pertinent email addresses except for the original author. I note that BV wrote: "Yes, all, we are a civilized lot. And since those in charge (A) Never got shot at themselves in a hostile action, and...." it may restart the "I'm a real combat veteran...." or "I'm not a combat veteran and what's it to you...." argument. But, what the hell....
Should add that the message below from "YB" came from a Senior Marine Officer who retired with 28 years service. He has a son who completed a tour in Iraq with 2/4, and is now going back on float and possible recommitment to either Iraq or Afghanistan. He also has a son, a 1stLt, now on duty in Iraq. The duty assignment of the latter requires several road and foot patrols a week into enemy territory. You might say that he has more than casual interest in the proceedings in Iraq. ...
BTW, perhaps the "Islam is a hate group" might explain why the bulk of the forces doing the bulk of the fighting, and dying, on our side in this war are Muslims Iraqis, Afghanis and Pakistanis?
This is the problem with trying to fight a Counter Insurgency with the Conventional Military. Counter Insurgency is as much political as military. The Conventional Military forces simply are not trained to deal with the limited ROE necessary in such a mission. The Conventional military is a broadsword and the mission requires a rapier.
BTW, here is the raw data from Iraq. The Junk Media is simply LYING about Iraq. The Insurgency in Iraq has failed. In over three year and we see the same steady low levels of violence. They have not been able to evolve beyond stage 1 of Guerrilla Warfare. The Iraqi Counter Insurgency efforts are rapidly maturing and growing. Simply look at the raw data.
Perhaps people should simply quit listening to them. Listening to the American "News" media on Iraq is like listening to Radio Berlin in June 1942 to find out how World War 2 is going.