"Do we ask too much of these men and women who go back deployment, after deployment after deployment after deployment -- and that's not an exaggeration," Smith wondered.
"Yes. No," Powell responded. "We are asking a lot of them. I've heard of some of them going back six and seven times. We are asking more of them than, even, the World War II generation because, in some previous wars, you might have some periods of quiet and then the battle comes, but in these two wars,the battle is there almost every day.
Right. A guy who volunteered on the day after Pearl Harbor, goes straight into the infantry or Marines, is swept up straight to Basic, then AIT, then deployed to the southwest Pacific or North Africa, never seeing his family for as long as three and a half years, fighting in a bloody attrition warfare where one day's casualties dwarf the entire Afghan and Iraq casualties put together.
Look, my son is now on his third tour of Iraq. He was with the 101st for the invasion and the surge and is now with 1st Armored. He was divorced after coming home to a faithless wife after his first tour. The stresses of multiple deployments are many, yes, but each time between deployments our troops get to come home, to decompress, to get "normal". With multiple deployments our kids can get in as much combat time as the WWII veterans, but Powell is comparing apples and oranges, I think. "Asking more of them" than the WWII generation? I don't think so. As much, in a different way? Perhaps. More? No.
Bullets kicking up dust in front of your face or slapping past your head is not a good feeling. I can only imagine what it is like to operate under sustained artillery fire and/or aerial bombardment ... day after day ... while being shot at.
Granted....Powell served in Vietnam. However, it seems to me that MANY former Flag officers are of the RINO or leftist mentality.
Never forget....Powell ENDORSED the illegal Kenyan obama. What does THAT tell you ?
Seems to me that many of our highly placed present and former politicians continue to ride on their coattails of military service, i.e., Powell, the now Socialist Jim Webb,D-VA former Marine platoon commander and Republican Secretary of the Navy under Reagan, and RINO libtard John McCain, R-AZ, former Naval Aviator and long-term POW in North Vietnam.
Although I thank these men for their wartime service in Vietnam, that is history. What they do today to help destroy this country is what matters.
It is today that is relevant. Not history.
Powell has shown himself to be nothing more than another of the elitist morons that think they know more than anyone else. A politician with a uniform that spouts Marxist propaganda to the sheeple.
Powell is a politician first and foremost, with a Statist, Nationalist, and Fascist perspective, and his commentary must always be understood in that light.
I never have understood why so many claiming to be on the side of liberty have been willing to give Powell a pass despite his oft-stated opposition to any but the police and military being armed.
"Colin Powell, nitwit"
I am tempted to say that the title said all that needed to be said, which is true for the subject of the title.
Your analysis comparing WWII to our present conflicts is spot on. Different in intensity and duration; comparable in effect.
One thing both the US Army and the German Army learned during WWII was that troops can take only so much combat intensity before they need a break. Preferably as units to maintain cohesion.
Whenever possible, combat regiments were pulled off the line for a rest after discrete periods of time. This wasn't always possible, especially for the Germans later in the war, particularly on the Eastern Front.
Our present conflicts are wearing on our Soldiers and Marines - and their families - but mostly for reasons of repetitive deployments, not combat intensity, certainly not combat intensity in the same way as WWI or WWII.
Long wars are structural problems for democratic countries. Better to go in hard, swamp the opposition, lock down the country and win - big, up front.
We didn't do that in Afghanistan and Iraq. (There are reasons for our not doing so; mostly to do with an insufficient force-in-being and logistics realities... But also a lack of political will...)
We are paying the price for those decisions and realities.
Colin Powell is, nevertheless, a nitwit.
Three excellent works relating to the problem:
"The Sharp End: The Fighting Man in World War II", by John Ellis
"Combat Motivation: The Behavior of Men in Battle", by Anthony Kellett, and,
"The Face of Battle", by John Keegan
The Wretched Dog
West Point '84
Logistics, 2003 - Present
The big difference is the uncertainty of how many repeat deployments can stress the mind, compared to a reasonable assumption in WWII that the route home was via Berlin and Tokyo. The GIs don't have a reasonable way to determine the progress toward victory, and therefore, an end to the war - it is whenever the politicians in Washington want to quit it.
We should not be there in the first place.
I loathe and despise Colin Powell as should any parent who has had a loved one KIA or WIA since 9/11. Their blood is on HIS hands. It was Powell who convinced W's Dad to rein in Stormin' Norman when my son was less than 90 miles from Bagdad. Powell made my son's - completely willing - sacrifice of his health FOR NAUGHT! Were I to get close enough to Colon Powell I would spit in his face and curse him and the entire diseased and degenerate line from which he sprang.
OH, and for the record, my son's Father-in-law spent more time under combat conditions during his tour in the Nam than a Roman legionary did in a career.
Bad Cyborg X
You know WHY they have had to have re-deployments in wars of recent times? Only ONE reason. ONE.
Becuase the fookin' arseholes who run the DOD, the brasshats and politicians, see careers to be made, promotions to be gained, and political points to be earned by dragging it on, and damn the body count. In WWI and WWII we went over there for ONE reason and that was to WIN the war at any cost. Bloody, yes, heartbreaking, life changing. But we won.
But after Korea was past, the prevailing wisdom of winning a war, seems to have become an abstract. With imbeciles like Colon Powell demonstrating the Boogaloo at Obama's fund raisers, and Obambi-pambi himself waving his lace hankie about, it is no wonder that our military seldom seems to strike fear into the hearts of evildoers.
Sadly, THAT task is left to our men and women in uniform.
Semper Fi and belated Veteran's Day salutes all around/
One other comment about the WW2 generation (and I do include my parents in what I am about to say):
Those people were the sh*theads who left Frank the Cripple's New Deal manifestations of the collectivist Progressive agenda stand, and in fact demanded more with LBJ's never-sustainable-from-thre-git Great Society madness.
Those American adults from '45-'80 effed things in this country to a far-thee-well, as we are about to learn the hard way.
They had the watch.
They screwed the pooch.
To hell with the Greatest Generation, who begat the filthy Boomers (my generation).
Gen X, Y, and Z should be sharpening their knives and grasping the pillows of eternal rest:
The old bast*rds and their spoiled-brat spawn have to sleep sometime.
Going to teach the kids how to draw blood
@ ParaPacem: While I appreciate and understand your sentiment -
"Becuase the fookin' arseholes who run the DOD, the brasshats and politicians, see careers to be made, promotions to be gained, and political points to be earned by dragging it on, and damn the body count."
- anyone who has worked with and /or observed our senior officers agonizing decisions over multiple deployments for our units and our Soldiers/Marines will realize that the above sentiment is not accurate. Our senior military leaders do not have "careers to be made, promotions to be gained, and political points to be earned by dragging [these conflicts] on,..."
Not that I do not think that we shouldn't see some of them fired. They are not all of the same calibre.
For a year, while deployed, I sat through bi-weekly 4-hour long VTC's, [on a Saturday], where senior leaders dealt with the realities of manning, equipping, and deploying a constantly rotational force. The fact that we have Special Operations units and personnel deploying for the umpteenth tour, USMC Regiments for the 7th time, and US Army Brigades or divisions for the 4th or 5th time (the Army's unit deploy for a year, unlike the USMC's 7 months and the Spc Opns variable length deployments) is a heavy problem that the senior leaders are well aware of.
We do not have sufficient ground forces for the tasks our political masters have assigned us…
To be cont.
continued. I have sat across the table with Admiral Mullins and his wife (in the DFAC in Balad, Iraq) discussing the effect of multiple deployment on Soldiers and families, particularly Reservists and Guardsmen.
No-one can credibly suggest to me that our senior military leadership doesn't understand or appreciate the strain of multiple deployments, or that they want it to polish their career image.
In my comments above I indicated some of the reasons we could not go in with sufficient force to win quick and hard - not enough force-in-being and logistics support problems were two primary considerations.
But the nature of the enemy and the nature of an asymmetric fight are another.
The acme of generalship is to win without fighting; if fighting is necessary; the fast-paced, maneuver campaign which obviates enemy strength and demoralizes his will into immediate or near-term collapse is next best (think France, 1940); a long-war of attrition demonstrates a lack of skill, or a near-equivalence in capabilities (think WWI and WWII, overall).
Asymmetric warfare, against an ideological enemy, is generational warfare - winnable if we have the political will to stay the course and change two generations of Islamic young people. The individually most important strategic asset we have in the fight in Iraq is our young people putting their lives on the line, in the street, with the Iraqi security forces, and showing the Iraqi people we mean what we say. Think “neighborhood Policing” and GEN Petraeus.
Short of that, it isn't worth staying.
Truth in advertising, I am a full-time US Army Reservist with three deployments to Iraq.
The Wretched Dog
Colin Powell...don't seem to know anyone named Colin Powell.
I remember my father-in-law telling me about his arrival on Tarawa on D+3. On my second vacation to the desert paradise, I felt guilty running into some friends and they had not rotated out yet. Every experience is different. I've noticed a tendency for unit cohesion to erode as there is constant churn to keep units at full strength. I feel that eighteen year old kids are less prepared for the mental stress of modern military combat, but I am amazed at how resilient they are.
It really is an apples to oranges comparison.
The Wretched Dog
"I have sat across the table with Admiral Mullins and his wife (in the DFAC in Balad, Iraq)..."
This doesn't seem like part of the problem? Wish my wife had been with me in Iraq to "chat with Reservists and Guardsmen" about their troubles. I was Active Duty with a military job to do. No senior chatted with me about my personal problems.
...None of which is to say they don't need us over there, or that the sacrifices of our very best are without merit.
But let's not poo-poo the personal ambition required for generals to become and remain generals. They are, by nature, extreme examples themselves...and only a very few are worthy of emulation.
I refuse to give them a free pass because the politicians "gave them a job."
We could have done it right, faster, with less loss of life in 2005-2006; if only the flags had the balls to stand up to DOS/UN in 2004.
@ Concerned American said...
The old bast*rds and their spoiled-brat spawn have to sleep sometime.
Is that the only time you're brave enough?
As for the rest of your crying, the progs don't go and fight. They stay home and screw up things while we're away. It's always been that way, even now. Look what's happened here while our people have been serving, the Mighty Kenyan? AYFKM?
This is the same useless charlie sierra who made the claim that the GOP was too "narrow" for him.
That is, the same GOP which made this piece of shit the first black chair of the JCS, the first black Sec State.....
This is the same piece of shit who KNEW that Armitage was the one who gave Novak Plame's info - yet allowed millions of dollars of our money to be wasted and good mens' names to dragged in the mud.
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