Thursday, June 08, 2006

Military Intelligence?

Denise has complained that I haven’t posted awhile, so here goes. She might regret poking me awake. Via Kim comes this excellent CBS news report that discusses the effectiveness of the .223 battle rifle.

It should be no surprise that I agree that the .223 is wholly ineffective as a combat round. Denise agrees as well, derisively calling it a poodle popper. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy shooting the .223, but it has no place in the kind of irregular warfare that we are waging in the Middle East and I am dubious it ever had a place in our military’s arsenal.

But that issue isn’t what has me outraged. No, it is this quote from supposed weapons expert Pierre Sprey,

"There is no such thing as a well-aimed shot in combat," said Sprey. "Combat is fought by scared 18-year-olds who haven't trained enough and are in places they've never seen before."

Well Mr. Sprey, as a commenter at Kim’s site said, tell that to Sergeant York and Audie Murphy.

Our soldiers are better trained than they have ever been. They are certainly trained better than they were during World War 2, where they were sent overseas as quickly as possible and training was rounded out at the front. But, they won that war, primarily with “well-aimed” shots. WWII soldiers were as scared as anyone in a combat situation, but they were still able to squeeze off that well aimed shot.

Also, I suspect that Mr. Sprey has never been hunting. While no where near the level of stress that one feels under combat, it is still necessary to quiet ones breathing, take careful aim and to squeeze off a well aimed shot. Many people have done this many times before their 18th birthday.

Mr. Sprey, supposedly an expert, must have little knowledge of military history as well. In World War I, our Marines picked off Germans at 1000 yards under combat conditions and earned the nickname, Teufel Hunden(Devil Dogs) from the shocked German soldiers.

In fact, our military is well renowned for its marksmanship and the Marines have a lot of pride in their motto of “Every Marine a rifleman”.

So to be blunt, if Mr. Sprey is a typical example of what we have for weapons experts in this country, maybe it is no small wonder that we are having a problem with ending the insurgency in Iraq. Mr. Sprey’s attitude is a perfect example of what is wrong with a lot of this country’s military thinking.

(UPDATE: Blogger or something messed up some paragraph returns and left pieces of html code floating around. I edited the post to remove those pieces and I hope I didn't mess something else up. Denise 3:51pm)

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