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Old 2012-04-11, 06:04 PM   [Ignore Me] #14
Figment
Lieutenant General
 
Re: No wonder the world hates us


That's all nice, but it doesn't really help establish a proper connection with the locals. Quite the opposite. I don't find it odd the USA is or was seen as the occupier, rather than the liberator. Is that due to (necessary) safety precautions, sure, but it doesn't allow for trust to built up, quite the contrary.


The Dutch in Afghanistan were not seen as the same kind of occupation force as the Americans. More care for local customs and tribal relations resulted in a relatively quiet province and hardly any Dutch casualties that were down to non-accidents.

http://www.humansecuritygateway.com/...bulUruzgan.pdf

This is a very interesting read in the background in which they had to operate and how the US/Australians have a more violence oriented, volatile approach that doesn't yield the same results as it would in a more western context. Why? Tribal relations, fear of being marked collaborator by either the west or the Taliban, backstabbing, etc.

The militia existing in Afghanistan are not a standing army, yet they actually result in severe widespread crime and lawlessness, as well as oppression of the locals. Why? Because there's no strong government, so it's every man for himself. A militia that does not have the purpose of defending the population, certainly in a tribal context, does not guarantee a safe and secure environment. Quite the contrary: it tempts to use violence to get your way and the lack of ethical training a modern professional soldier gets (not always true for mercenaries) and is bound to by Geneva convention, does not go for civilian militias.

Originally Posted by Malorn View Post
There are better ways to have both.

I personally like the mandatory service model like Israel has where every citizen must put in two years of military service. The Romans did a similar thing. It ensures every citizen is properly trained and turns your entire country into a military reserve.
Yet this is used as an excuse by the Palestinians to justify targeting the civilians, since every civilian is a soldier. Basically, it creates an atmosphere where terrorism is an agreeable and acceptable form of combat: you are fighting soldiers wearing civilian clothes after all. You also don't just see the Israeli army as the enemy, but every single Israeli.

This has been literally used as an argument for attacking civilian targets and tbh, the logic is even sound as long as you don't attack people unable to serve (children/elderly) as every single Israeli doubles as a soldier.

And no, I would not say they're properly trained. Draft and mobilisation does not mean they're effective soldiers and killing machines in comparison to people who have been trained for years.

A friend of mine took up a profession as a bodyguard for politicians after having served in Afghanistan. He has very strict rules to follow. The problem is that the private security forces in Iraq feel they are above the law and they act that way too. Worse, a lot of troops in Iraq feel they're elevated above the locals as a people.



Btw, speaking of army excesses, look at this type of people in your army:
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/1016-01.htm
http://harpers.org/archive/2009/05/0082488

That's a bigger concern than standing armies you have: a fanatic zealot subsection within the army that treats people of other faith as sub-humans. :/ And then we haven't discussed the atrocities performed by (untrained) prison guards that get bored. Or the stupidity of officers not understanding after this many years of insane response to it, what happens if you burn a Koran (and muslems anywhere find out). Do note, I find the response of muslems to this sort of thing insane, like there are many other insane examples of fanatism within the muslem world. It would be nice if the ones reacting so strongly would have had a bit of a proper education and capacity of relativation, but alas they do not.
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