Skip to comments.Chairman Calls White Phosphorous Legitimate Military Tool
Posted on 11/30/2005 5:19:13 PM PST by SandRat
WASHINGTON, Nov. 30, 2005 White phosphorous is a legitimate military tool, but U.S. forces have been highly judicious about using it to avoid harming civilians, Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Pentagon reporters Nov. 29. Pace defended use of the substance, which U.S. forces use primarily as a smokescreen, to mark targets or to flush enemy combatants out of protected positions. "It is well within the law of war to use those weapons as they are being used for marking and screening," he said.
U.S. troops used limited white phosphorous munitions against legitimate targets during Operation Al Fajr in Fallujah, Iraq, last year, defense officials confirmed. However, officials refuted recent news reports that U.S. forces have used the substance as an incendiary weapon. White phosphorous can cause serious burns if it comes into contact with skin.
U.S. forces have never used white phosphorous to target innocent civilians, officials said, and have taken great pains to avoid doing so.
Just as with any other weapon, troops use a variety of factors to determine the appropriateness of using white phosphorous, explained Air Force Maj. Todd Vician, a Pentagon spokesman. These include the target vulnerability and location, available munitions, and the potential risk to civilians and friendly forces, he said.
"No armed force in the world goes to greater effort than your armed force to protect civilians and to be very precise in the way we apply our power," Pace said.
"A bullet goes through the skin even faster than white phosphorous does. So I would rather have the proper instrument applied at the proper time as precisely as possible to get the job done in a way that kills as many of the bad guys as possible and does as little collateral damage as possible," the chairman said. "That is just the nature of warfare."
White phosphorous was commonly used during the Vietnam War, where it garnered the nickname, "Willie Pete" among troops.
WP and Straight Talking Marine PING!
"It is well within the law of war to use those weapons as they are being used for marking and screening,"
We need to do a little more "marking" on the insurgents heads.
I was thinking more like using it eye liner for their "third-eye."
These people who think war should be conducted in a 'polite' and proper way should watch the footage of the Nick Berg beheading or the pictures of those American contractors who were burned up and carried through the streets with the animals cheering the terrorists on.
No way in hell we are going to win this war with so many in our country concerned with how we are treating people who want to kill us all. How much more has to be done to us before we as a people wake the hell up? How many more of our people have to die?
Was this not enough?!?
What a dumbass statement. There's no reason to target civilians of any variety - it's a waste of resources.
The use of WP is being forced upon us by our enemy, so be it.
The War on Terror will go on for the next 20 years. As long as WE exist and WE are Infidels, Radical Islam will always be compelled, through THEIR perverted interpretation of the Koran, to Strike & Exterminate us whenever and however possible.
You Can't Negotiate peace, it never lasts on it's own accord without tension & troops at each other's boarders. ADD the fact of dealing with Religious Fanatical Zealots and this will only be decided By a Clear WINNER and a LOOSER- taken to the end.
Ya, a bit simplified, but it's my view on the sit.
Just to point out. We don't use WP especially for the Islamists. It's a totally ordinary round. It would be a totally normal round for a mortar crew to have in combat whether we are fighting Arabs or Germans or North Koreans. Just normal. This whole Willy Pete thing is so preposterous- I can't even believe it's getting any media time.
Did anyone else see--and I swear this really happened--the Pace & Rummy news conf. on CNN yesterday? When Pace began talking about white phosphorous, the blurb at the bottom of the screen read "Pace: White Phosphorous is a legitimate media tool."
You and Me both-
This stuff is like Greek Fire, right? Keeps burning while inside you? Makes me shiver just thinking about it. I geuss its ok on murderous terrorists but still...