Monday, September 24, 2007

Asymmetric Warfare

A Pentagon group has encouraged some U.S. military snipers in Iraq to target suspected insurgents by scattering pieces of "bait," such as detonation cords, plastic explosives and ammunition, and then killing Iraqis who pick up the items, according to military court documents.
"Baiting is putting an object out there that we know they will use, with the intention of destroying the enemy," Capt. Matthew P. Didier, the leader of an elite sniper scout platoon attached to the 1st Battalion of the 501st Infantry Regiment, said in a sworn statement. "Basically, we would put an item out there and watch it. If someone found the item, picked it up and attempted to leave with the item, we would engage the individual as I saw this as a sign they would use the item against U.S. Forces."

In documents obtained by The Washington Post from family members of the accused soldiers, Didier said members of the U.S. military's Asymmetric Warfare Group visited his unit in January and later passed along ammunition boxes filled with the "drop items" to be used "to disrupt the AIF [Anti-Iraq Forces] attempts at harming Coalition Forces and give us the upper hand in a fight."
I read this in the Washington Post as I was getting my breakfast this morning and it nearly made me crawl back into bed and pull the covers up over my head.

The thing that is most striking about this is that, once again, it is the enlisted men being prosecuted and the officers are the ones that are getting away scot-free. I don't know about you but I have never been able to call someone a leader if his first reflex is to toss his men under the bus to save his ass.

There is something very wrong with the US officer corps nowadays. Could it have something to do with the fact that they see careerist officers like Gen Petraeus getting ahead while ones that actually seem to give a shit keep retiring?

Nice Role-Modeling guys!

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