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Thread: American Foreign Legion

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Australia
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    9,278

    Default Re: American Foreign Legion

    Quote Originally Posted by JR* View Post
    Another suggestion - why not take the staff and customers of the "Gunsmoke" gunsmithing firm of Baton Rouge (of "Sons of Guns" fame), gun them up and parachute them into I-raq, having first hypnotized them into the belief that anyone encountered wearing a towel on his head was either a 'Gator or a Swamp Rat ? Drat - I have been watching too much "Discovery Channel" late nights ... Just kidding, JR.
    You're onto something here.

    The Gunsmoke I remember had James Arness as the Marshal and Dennis Weaver as Chester, the eternally whining pain in the arse incompetent deputy who was usually limping around begging for help, e.g.
    "Miss Kitty, Miss Kitty, come quick, Marshal Dillon's ...... [insert dramatic event here, e.g. Marshal Dillon has fallen in the shower and has a huge bar of soap stuck up his foaming arse)

    If we could parachute a brigade of whining Chesters into any country in the world, their whining would rapidly subdue even the most resolute enemy. With no bloodshed, apart from the loss of the occasional Chester, which is a small price to pay for liberty.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  2. #17
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    Default Re: American Foreign Legion

    I think Stephen Colbert sums up my thoughts:

    http://on.cc.com/ZfOF2Y


  3. #18
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    Default Re: American Foreign Legion

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Makes perfect sense to rich Arab (read "generally hardline Muslim" of their various brands of Islam) states which have the most to lose if ISIL takes control.

    Why should Americans, or anyone but those Arab states with the most to lose, fund it? Why should anyone but the Arab states with the most to lose fight the battles for those Arab states?

    Be a refreshing change to see the duplicitous Arab states fight their own battles, and put their own lives on the line in fighting for their own survival.

    ...
    This morning there was a story of how an Iraqi base of cut-off, beleaguered downtrodden Iraqi soldiers was overrun by ISIS/ISIL. The terrorists ran a simple ruse of wearing Iraqi Special Forces uniforms while driving captured Humvees (that we gave the Iraqis only to be captured by ISIS) as the Iraqi Army fled in droves earlier. They drove through the gates as hopeful, thirsty soldiers beckoned them in, then detonated the trucks and the bushwhack was on.

    One might blame the troops and junior officers on the ground for such a fiasco of poor security. But apparently the Iraqi garrison, short of everything including the liquid gold that is water, was told that a relief column was on the way and to hold tight. Instead, ISIS came in and the survivors were forced to flee and up to 500 are missing. As the survivors fled, they found the charred remnants of the "rescue mission" on a bridge that was supposedly secure as they made their way to a base two miles away. Just utterly maddening as we spent billion$ to train and equip this army only to see it taken over by political hacks and corrupt Shia-morons as we now have to blow up our own stuff because they couldn't hold onto it! Maddening!!

  4. #19
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Dublin, Ireland
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    Default Re: American Foreign Legion

    Yes, a bit reminiscent of the experience of the Brits back in the late-19th century in the Mahdiist War. While Egypt was, legally, part of the doddering Ottoman Empire, an effective British "strong hegemony" existed over Egypt. The government of Egypt was effectively controlled by a British "resident". However, when it came to security and defence, the British relied on the Egyptian army, in which they made a considerable investment in training and equipment. Egyptian security responsibilities included control over the then-ill defined southern territory of the Sudan, over which Egypt claimed authority.

    In the first phase of the war - the one that culminated in the Mahdi's capture of Khartoum and the death of British General of Engineers George ("Chinese") Gordon, Egyptian units performed particularly badly. An army of some 10,000 Egyptians - admittedly badly led by a former British General in Egyptian service, William ("Hicks Pasha) Hicks - was almost annihilated (literally) by a Mahdiist army of Baggara tribesmen, at El Obeid. Soon after, British efforts to open a corridor to Khartoum from Sudan's east coast was frustrated in no small part by the failure of Egyptian forces to support their British "comrades" in their campaign against the local Mahdist Beja tribesmen (the "fuzzy wuzzies" of Kipling and Corporal Jones, more or less loyal to the Mahdi). Given the option, they generally turned tail and ran away. This failure led directly to the Khartoum fiasco, and the effective defeat of the British in the early phase of this war.

    It was a different story when the British returned, about 10 years later, under the command of old East Africa hand, General Herbert Kitchener. Considerable effort was put into the retraining of the Egyptian army - upon which considerable reliance was still put - and it was rearmed (if not always with state-of-the-art weapons) at least with pretty effective ones. In this case, when the British/Egyptian force advanced towards Khartoum, the Egyptian troops showed competence and determination. There was little running away, whether the opponents were Baggara or Beja. While, arguably, the critical battle of the second phase of the war - at Omdurman - hinged on the British, Lee-Enfield armed contingent, the Egyptians played their part here too. A major contrast with earlier events, I think.

    Oddly, there are parallels between the Madhiist War and the current "Coalition"/Iraqi conflict against IS. In both cases, the conflict was between a major world power and an Islamic insurgency. In both cases, the major power involved seriously underestimated the opposing forces in the initial phase of the conflict. In both cases, the major power was very reluctant to commit its own "boots on the ground" essentially for political reasons, leading to reliance on locally-raised forces to deal with the problem. In both cases, the early phases of the campaign revealed grievous flaws in the supposedly well-trained local forces, leading to defeat in the short term.

    Regarding the Mahdiist War, the end-result was that a force from the major power (GB), assisted by a strongly improved local force, destroyed their enemy. Might this be the end-result in the current Iraq/Syria situation ? Hard to say. For every similarity between the situation of the Mahdiist War, there is at least one dissimilarity. The comparison does offer some sort of hope. However, one very clear point is that the initial effort to create a "new" Iraqi army was a dreadful failure. Unless acceptable "boots" can be secured from currently uncommitted powers in the region, it seems necessary that the Iraqi army needs to be completely retrained and possibly re-equipped. The same can be said in relation to the Kurdish forces, which are fighting determinedly to stem the IS tide. Whether it will be possible to achieve this, in view of the complex political in the region (much more complex than in the case of the Mahdiist War), and of the close engagement of the combatants in this case, is open to question. In any event, the prospects remain very unclear ... Yours from the Dungeons of Omdurman, JR.

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