US Army its own worst enemy: British officer – World – “A senior British Army officer has written a scathing critique of the US Army and its performance in Iraq, accusing it of cultural ignorance, moralistic self-righteousness, unproductive micromanagement and unwarranted optimism.
His publisher: the US Army.
In an article published this week in the army magazine Military Review, Brigadier Nigel Aylwin-Foster, who was deputy commander of a program to train the Iraqi military, said American officers in Iraq displayed such ‘cultural insensitivity’ that it ‘arguably amounted to institutional racism’ and may have spurred the growth of the insurgency.
The US Army has been slow to adapt its tactics, he argues, and its approach during the early stages of the occupation ‘exacerbated the task it now faces by alienating significant sections of the population’.
The army magazine’s decision to publish the essay – which has already provoked an intense reaction among US officers – is part of a broader self-examination in many parts of the force as it approaches the end of its third year in Iraq.
The army was full of soldiers showing qualities such as patriotism, duty, passion and talent, writes Brigadier Aylwin-Foster.
‘Yet it seemed weighed down by bureaucracy, a stiflingly hierarchical outlook, a predisposition to offensive operations, and a sense that duty required all issues to be confronted head-on.’
Those traits reflect the army’s traditional focus on conventional wars and are seen by some experts as less appropriate for counterinsurgency, which they say needs patience, cultural understanding and a willingness to use innovative, counterintuitive approaches.
In counterinsurgency campaigns, Brigadier Aylwin-Foster says, ‘the quick solution i”


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