FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Embedding Without Blending

by FRANKLIN C. SPINNEY

I just watched a video from BBC Newsnight showing Iraqi forces in a recent dust up near Najaf. Our Iraqi “allies” were moving about in “technicals” or small Jeep type 4x4s, some with machine guns on top. Then along came the embedded US troops in a Humvee that was huge by comparison, with a big satellite antenna, as if to set it apart even further. The Americans were a horrendously obvious target.

When embedded this way, our troops stand out like sore thumbs and will be obvious objectives for snipers and special attack squads. My guess is that our Iraqi “allies” won’t want to be close to them when the going gets tough … and it will not take the insurgents long to figure this out.

If this kind of “Humvee embedding” is reflective of the general “strategy” for embedding our forces into Iraqi units, and I bet it is, then the so-called “surge” could degenerate into a real bloodbath — both for our guys on ground and for Iraqis of all stripes when we bring in the not-so-precise “precision” firepower, especially airpower, to extricate our troops from ambushes.

If this happens, the ensuing bloodbath would certainly increase dissension at home and further repel our allies and the uncommitted, which would stiffen the resolve of our adversaries and thereby make it even more difficult to end this conflict on terms that do not sow the seeds of future conflict.

It requires little imagination to see how such an disastrous evolution would be reinforced and accelerated by the credibility crisis the Bush Administration has brought upon itself over the entire history of its Iraq debacle.

In short, embedding that does not blend is exactly the kind of tactical madness that, if generalized and multiplied, could have unintended consequences that blow upward to shape adversely the operational, strategic, and even grand strategic levels of conflict.

FRANKLIN C. SPINNEY is a former Pentagon analyst and whistleblower. His writing on defense issues can be found on the invaluable Defense in the National Interest website.

 

More articles by:

Franklin “Chuck” Spinney is a former military analyst for the Pentagon and a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, published by AK Press. He be reached at chuck_spinney@mac.com

January 23, 2018
Carl Boggs
Doomsday Panic in Hawaii
Mark Ashwill
If I Were US Ambassador to Vietnam…
Jack Rasmus
US Government Shutdown: Democrats Blink…Again
Nick Pemberton
The Inherent Whiteness of “Our Revolution”
Leeann Hall
Trump’s Gift for the Unemployed: Kicking Them Off Health Care
Dean Baker
Lessons in Economics For the NYT’s Bret Stephens: Apple and Donald Trump’s Big Tax Cut
Mitchell Zimmerman
Law, Order and the Dreamers
Ken Hannaford-Ricardi
The Kids the World Forgot
Dave Lindorff
South Korea Slips Off the US Leash
Ali Mohsin
Extrajudicial Murder of Pashtun Exposes State Brutality in Pakistan
Jessicah Pierre
Oprah is No Savior
John Carroll Md
Keeping Haiti in Perspective
Amir Khafagy
Marching Into the Arms of the Democrats
January 22, 2018
Patrick Cockburn
It’s Time to Call Economic Sanctions What They Are: War Crimes
Jim Kavanagh
Behind the Money Curtain: A Left Take on Taxes, Spending and Modern Monetary Theory
Sheldon Richman
Trump Versus the World
Mark Schuller
One Year On, Reflecting and Refining Tactics to Take Our Country Back
Winslow Wheeler
Just What Earmark “Moratorium” are They Talking About?
W. T. Whitney
José Martí, Soul of the Cuban Revolution
Uri Avnery
May Your Home Be Destroyed          
Wim Laven
Year One Report Card: Donald Trump Failing
Jill Richardson
There Are No Shithole Countries
Bob Fitrakis - Harvey Wasserman
Are the Supremes About to Give Trump a Second Term?
Laura Finley
After #MeToo and #TimesUp
Howard Lisnoff
Impressions From the Women’s March
Andy Thayer
HuffPost: “We Really LOVED Your Contributions, Now FUCK OFF!”
Weekend Edition
January 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Dr. King’s Long Assassination
David Roediger
A House is Not a Hole: (Not) Caring about What Trump Says
George Burchett
How the CIA Tried to Bribe Wilfred Burchett
Mike Whitney
Trump’s Plan B for Syria: Occupation and Intimidation
Michael Hudson – Charles Goodhart
Could/Should Jubilee Debt Cancellations be Reintroduced Today?
Marshall Auerback – Franklin C. Spinney
Boss Tweet’s Generals Already Run the Show
Andrew Levine
Remember, Democrats are Awful Too
James Bovard
Why Ruby Ridge Still Matters
Wilfred Burchett
The Bug Offensive
Brian Cloughley
Now Trump Menaces Pakistan
Ron Jacobs
Whiteness and Working Folks
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Keeper of Crazy Beats: Charlie Haden and Music as a Force of Liberation
Robert Fantina
Palestine and Israeli Recognition
Jan Oberg
The New US Syria “Strategy”, a Recipe For Continued Disaster
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
The Return of the Repressed
Mel Gurtov
Dubious Partnership: The US and Saudi Arabia
Robert Fisk
The Next Kurdish War Looms on the Horizon
Lawrence Davidson
Contextualizing Sexual Harassment
Jeff Berg
Approaching Day Zero
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail