Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Derivative of a Death Wish: Militia on the Modern Battlefield 
Without any U.S. reported KIA in the action.

This is what happens when a raggled "militia" confronts a modern, trained, professional force. This is what always happens.

There's a certain romance that surrounds the term "militia." But that aura is misplaced. Even deceptive. Militia units have never been able to stand up for long against a determined attack conducted by an organized professional combined arms team.

Even the colonial militia got its ass kicked all the way across the New World. Washington couldn't make headway until he got his own regulars in the Continental Army, and buttressed them with professional Hessians and other European troops. The Viet Cong was destroyed as soon as it sought a general engagement. Partisan resistance forces could only attain the most local and limited success against the Nazis, and were regularly chewed up and spat out when confronted by competent Wehrmacht and SS units. The fiery but erratic Celts could not stand up against the relentless engineering and war machinery of Julius Caesar.

When my unit was in Ramadi fighting a mix of Saddam loyalist insurgents and 'out-of-towners,' or jihadist foreign fighters from May 03 through February, time and again the insurgents would get to fire the first shots. And time and again they would miss. And time and again they were pinned down by our own machine gun fire, outflanked, and killed.

Yes, drooling simians like Michael Moore, caught up in the dreamy romanticism of ignorance, have likened the Iraqi militiamen to the minutemen of the revolution.

Here's a little secret, though.

The minutemen used to get their asses handed to them on a platter.

Yes, the Iraqi insurgent has demonstrated a MacGyver-like genius for improvised munitions--fashioning detonators out of car alarms and garage door openers and TV remote controls. He has proven adept at intimidating ordinary Iraqis through fear. And he's pretty good at waylaying cars full of laundry women and murdering them. And he's boldly cut the throats of five-year-old children of suspected collaborators.

But a marksman he is not. He tends not to use the sights on his AK-47s at all. About half of them don't even have a stock. They look cool, though. And their rugged looks appeal to the average macho idiot these guys tend to recruit.

But their arms are next to useless except at point blank range. Everything else they do is just 'spray and pray.'

But the spray and pray method always fails against a disciplined force of marksmen.

Unless a cease fire agreement holds, we will see the same tactics played out time and again, with similar results for the insurgents.

If the US forces are clumsy, the insurgent may get some political play. And that is certainly his hope.

But on the tactical level, directly confronting US forces over a city is a derivative of a death wish.

Splash, out


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