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Question about National Guard Morale
#1
My friend returned from Iraq recently. There is a question of the ability and morale of NG troopers.

I finally asked him.

Billy says their morale was real good and that they were BETTER than the active Army(take that,Jed!) He said 12 months is TOO LONG to deploy to Iraq,it should be 2, 6 month tours seperated by say 24 months or 18.

Unlike Vietnam,there is no where to relax and party,12 months,too long.

they kicked some as.s,too. He admitted his province (Diyala) was more of a holding action and acknowledged the harder road of the Marines and Army in hotter areas.
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#2
Palladin Wrote:My friend returned from Iraq recently. There is a question of the ability and morale of NG troopers.

I finally asked him.

Billy says their morale was real good and that they were BETTER than the active Army(take that,Jed!) He said 12 months is TOO LONG to deploy to Iraq,it should be 2, 6 month tours seperated by say 24 months or 18.

Unlike Vietnam,there is no where to relax and party,12 months,too long.

they kicked some as.s,too. He admitted his province (Diyala) was more of a holding action and acknowledged the harder road of the Marines and Army in hotter areas.

I once read an analysis of why the effort in Vietnam fell thru,one of the reasons given there was short tours. I understand that to a soldier it must suck going on long tours to a place like Iraq, but the counterinsergincy experts' consensus seems to be that you can't do effective counterinsurgency with short tours.
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#3
Henry,

Yes,I can see the lack of consistent experience being very harmful,but Billy told me that around month 9,his guys started losing focus,thinking only of home,etc. Made some errors and could have gotten themselves killed,but were fortunate not to have.

Small things,like leaving an empty water bottle in a sniper position,stuff like that.

Ya know,the truth is that fighting our fights overseas is always going to be a problem in this respect,Americans just don't care to be away like this. They just prefer it to the alternative.

My view of Vietnam is that we lost because they were more determined to win. Everything else is meaningless,to win that war we needed to slaughter about 3-5 million people MORE than we did and we were not up to the task. You can study it from the military view,but I see it as a test of wills.
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#4
Palladin Wrote:Henry,
Yes,I can see the lack of consistent experience being very harmful,but Billy told me that around month 9,his guys started losing focus,thinking only of home,etc. Made some errors and could have gotten themselves killed,but were fortunate not to have.
Small things,like leaving an empty water bottle in a sniper position,stuff like that.
well for that they probably need to go on vacation more often, but then unless they've been wounded several times or are so stressed that mere mention of the place causes them to have a breakdown, they ought to go bakc. Of course this thing had better be voluntary. This last consideration I think is part of the reason why so many contractors are there



Quote: Ya know,the truth is that fighting our fights overseas is always going to be a problem in this respect,Americans just don't care to be away like this. They just prefer it to the alternative.
then it's best to think twice or even more before committing to military action overseas and only do it when it's really necessary.

Quote: My view of Vietnam is that we lost because they were more determined to win. Everything else is meaningless,to win that war we needed to slaughter about 3-5 million people MORE than we did and we were not up to the task. You can study it from the military view,but I see it as a test of wills.
well, it depends on what a victory is to you, if it's scorched earth and the smell of napalm like in Apocalupse Now, then yeah sure , only then the whole population of both North and South Vietnam would probably have had to have been killed, just to make sure. If on the other hand winning means getting a nation around to your side, then militarily things should have been done in a totally different way in nam. In fact when the army came there in 1965 they basically screw things up with their large scale seek and destroy ops in the deep bush. It would appear that before the army got into this, the CIA was doing a much better job with their green berets who at the time were under CIA control. It's just that the progress didn't seem to be fast enough to some in Washington and it was decided to apply a quick fix in the form of the military and pull of a second Korea, yet nobody appreciated that the situation was totally different from Korea, it was a low to midium intensity insurgency war. You're right in that there was not enough will to win, but there were also lots of totally wrong ideas about how it should be fought, it was wrongly believed that the army was the ultimate solution, turned out it wasn't. you can't win an insurgency war if let WWII style generals run the show. Counterinsurgency is done differently, look at the brits in Malaya or the US marines in the Philipinnes, it's always a down to earth, ear to the ground, small scale, foot patrols with rifles, protection of the population kind of thing, and it takes a long time, 10 to 20 years so you'd better be prepared for a long haul. Nam could have been won, it was lost due to populist quick fix politics and inadequate military tactics.
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