Thursday, April 06, 2006

He Who Fights and Runs Away...

Over at Main and Central, I see a report, issued publicly by an Army Information Office, that American convoys in Iraq will no longer cut and run when engaged by the enemy, but instead will stand and fight. Because trying to speed up and get away from the ambush sends the "wrong message" to the attackers.

Well, isn't that just fucking great. Fucking stupid is what it is.

I was in the Transportation Corps in Vietnam, so my knowledge of convoy tactics is a little out of date, but I can tell you that the convoys that sustained the most damage were the ones that got bogged down and had to stop. I had friends get shot on the infamous Tay Ninh convoy ambush in August 1968; it was one of those, the trucks stopped dead when one got blown up, the drivers and people like me who were riding "shotgun" on the trucks shot it out with the VC/NVA until the infantry came in and kicked some ass. As a result of his heroic action in this battle, Sergeant William Seay was awarded, posthumously, the Medal of Honor.

So based on my experience in convoys in a war zone, I seriously question the wisdom of this new tactic; I might have been willing to give it a try if I were a convoy commander, but not now. Now that we've blurted out to the world what our new tactic will be.

All changes in battle tactics should be conceived in secret and applied in stealth, varied at every turn, so the enemy won't know what you are doing.

Telling them right out in so many words -- before you even do it -- is just fucking stupid. It's right up there with selling atomic secrets to North Korea. Stupid.

Now that they know what we're up to, all the insurgents will have to do is prepare their ambush with enough weaponry, a couple hundred claymores, and a mass of fighters, enough to overwhelm the lightly-guarded convoy.

What are the odds that some lame-ass chickenhawk civilian BFEE crony/campaign-contributor -who-was-promised-a-job in Rummy's office came up with this one? I'd say they're pretty good.


merlallen said...

I heard on CNN that they had 2 thousand squids pulling convoy duty. Is that true?
I don't remember any infantry training during my hitch.
I'm pretty sure about 97@ of M division aboard the "Tommy Chuck" would have been wiped out.
I still remember escorting Saddam's tankers through the Straits of Hormuz.

merlallen said...

You do know that @ = %, right?

L.J. Abershawe said...

Welcome to the modern Army. Lord knows it makes no sense the things I see down here everyday just baffle the mind.

Anyways. I'm reading a book called "Soldiers in Revolt." I was wondering if you read it? It's about the Vietnam Era. I was curious as to your opinion on it's accuracy vrs. your own expierence during the war.

Farnsworth said...

I haven't read it, but I read the reviews over at -- sounds interesting, although it concerns itself with a period of time several years after I was in Vietnam.
I was there from mid-1968 to early 1969, and I saw the change happen. I got there right after the Tet Offensive, just in time for "Little Tet" in May, and I could see the demoralization set in, the sense of futility, the "what the fuck are we doing here" attitudes start to solidify.
By the time I left, pretty much everyone I knew had serious doubts about the war, if not outright opposition to it. But the actual rebellion of the troops was still a ways away