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Subject: Was the USMC the appropriate force to send to Baghdad?
towgunner1960    10/3/2003 10:46:39 PM
I submit that it might have been more efficient to send British troops north to Baghdad instead of the Marine Corps, for the following reasons; U.S. Army and U.K. troops have trained together to fight the type of war that was fought for the last 50 odd years. (Mechanized warfare). The Marine Corps armor, excepting the M1 are totally unsuited for RAPID desert armored fighting, i.e. aav, lav and M198. U.K. and U.S. Army are equipped exactly the way you need to be to fight this type of war,(M1, M2-3, M109), (Challenger, Warrier, AS90). This gives them the ability to shoot and scoot, and to slug it out if needed. The Marine Corps has never trained with the Army to fight massive Soviet style forces the way U.K. and U.S. Army have. It might have been better for USMC to have taken over the British role, attacking southern Iraq, where they could have worked as a combined arms team with naval support, the way they have for over 200+ years. Long range desert armored warfare is not a Marine mission with the equipment and the training they have. If they want to equip themselves the way the Army does to fight this type of war, then they risk losing capability to fight the littorial type of war that they are so magnificant at. This is no way a slight against the Marines, who I have trained with and admire. But what nation can afford to have two armies? If they insist on trying to compete against the Army for that mission, (mech warfare), then what need is there for a Marine Corps? You might as well combine them with the Army.
 
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rikopotomous    RE:Was the USMC the appropriate force to send to Baghdad?   12/1/2004 1:57:59 AM
The Iraqi military was so pathetic it would be tough to fail. hell, they had the hoods of the humvees up going 40 mph down the road and a guy workin on the engine keeping it working. Thank christ the Iraqi's were a joke or else we actually mighta been stopped and forced to get our act together. If that were an exercise to move an army from coast to coast it'd be marked a failure. The real question, which no one in the white house wanted to think about was "what are we gonna do after we take the country over? what do we need to do to keep the place quiet?" the obvious answer to me is "lots of dismounted infantry to stand on street corners and make friends with the locals and keep the place quiet." but Shinsekki told curious George and the Fab Five (his cabinet) exactly that and they forced him into an early retirement.
 
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ambush    RE:Was the USMC the appropriate force to send to Baghdad?   12/4/2004 11:06:04 PM
>>but Shinsekki told curious George and the Fab Five (his cabinet) exactly that and they forced him into an early retirement. << Shinsekki was not forced into an early retirement over Iraq, although it is what he would have you believe. He was among the worse Chief of Staffs the Army ever had. He should have been fired over the Black Beret Fiasco and probably investigated for the Stryker scandal: http://www.militarycorruption.com/stryker.htm http://www.combatreform.com/strykerprogram.htm Shinsekki was no great military leader as the Beret fiasco proved. What leader thinks the way to improve the poor morale of his organization is to buy them new hats? He was just another Clinton era political stooge, like General Claudia Kennedy, more interested in the political correctness of the military than its combat capabilities. Also why would anybody have listened to him about Iraq? He was also opposed to the Afghanistan mission, insisting he would need more time to build up a large conventional force to drive out the Taliban. Instead he was ignored and it was done with a few hundred Special Ops types. Did you ever ask yourself why the first large conventional force in Afghanistan was the US Marines? Afghanistan is a land locked country and airfield take down/seizure is a roll the 82nd trains for (so do the Marines). When the Bush Administration asked who can get a force into Khahndahar now the Shinsekki crew said they would need more time to build up a better logistic bas to support it from and wanted to send in a larger force. The Marines said they could go in now. In fact the first Cargo Aircraft to land at Khahndahar were Marine KC-130s not Air Force C-130s. The Air Force insisting that the Air Field be upgraded before they would risk their aircraft. Shinsekki also opposed the reforms Rumsfeld wants to implement and the military needs. As far as I am concerned Shinsekki departure was long overdue and he is lucky he was able to keep his retirement pay. Shoomaker is head and shoulders above that loser. He understand Special Operations, leadership and that he is leading a fighting force not a group hug encounter group. Remember the Army’s program COOing-Consideration Of Others implemented under the Shinsekki regime.
 
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Eagle601    RE:Was the USMC the appropriate force to send to Baghdad?   12/6/2004 12:54:21 AM
I agree fully with ambush's statement. Shinseki retired so he could spend his stock option money from General Dynamics. I just got through righting an essay for Ethics on the Stryker controvery. Back on topic, the Marines were better suited for urban fighting, for crossing bodies of water, and for occupying captured areas. Besides the Marines didn't take Baghdad, the 3rd Infantry Division got there first.
 
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Mike From Brielle    RE:Was the USMC the appropriate force to send to Baghdad?   12/6/2004 12:08:29 PM
1: The unit the Marines tagged to take Falluja was, I believe the same unit that re-took Hue city and Seoul. You might call them specialists in Urban Planning. I don't know if they were the same ones who took Baghdad but Marines in general practice Urban Warfare as part of their pre-deployment workup (at least they used to - I believe recently they cut back on the pre-deployment training phase because of the high op-tempo.

2: I still think that Shinsekki was treated rather shabbily regardless of what you feel about his policies (berets for moral - please). He was still a General officer and he must have done something to deserve the rate.

3: Transformation while I am generally in favor of it I think there is a lot of baby being thrown out with some bath water. Some of the stuff that their doing is just warmed over previously failed programs.

4: The Army and probably the Marine Corps are probably both to small now and rather than correct the situation you have people spouting dogma (or degenerate doctrine) in the face of battlefield realities.

 
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ambush    RE:Was the USMC the appropriate force to send to Baghdad?   12/6/2004 6:12:16 PM
>>2: I still think that Shinsekki was treated rather shabbily regardless of what you feel about his policies (berets for moral - please). He was still a General officer and he must have done something to deserve the rate.<< Benedict Arnold was also a General officer, hero of the Batle of Saratoga and wounded in combat. Fact is almost all officers are completely politicized by the time they get their first star. Granted there have been exception like LtGen Louis B. Puller and General Al Gray-USMC who were among the less poltical offfers I can think of. Most General officers have civilian political mentors/protectors. General Shinsekki's was Senator Inouye of Hawaii. It is not by chance that Hawaii is getting a Stryker Brigade. As a result a lot of money is being spent (meaning jobs being created in Hawaii) to upgrade facilities and ranges there for the Brigade. There are other bases that would have required little or no upgrdes and still have put the Brigade in a Strategic lift location. In fact because of the environmental wackos Hawaii is one of the poorest locations the Army has for live fire training. Also when you consider that the Stryker Brigade is a highly mobile units it will need more area than a Light Infantry Brigade to get adequate maneuver training. Again something in short supply in the Stae of Hawaii.
 
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Mike From Brielle    RE:Was the USMC the appropriate force to send to Baghdad?   12/6/2004 6:43:34 PM
1: Shinsekki does not equal Benedict Arnold

2: As you pointed out all Military programs (particullarly Military Construction - MILCON) come with some political baggage. This way they'll get plenty of practice deploying to 29 stumps ;).

 
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F22    RE:Was the USMC the appropriate force to send to Baghdad?--Eagle601   12/6/2004 6:54:31 PM
Besides the Marines didn't take Baghdad, the 3rd Infantry Division got there first If I recall correctly, 3ID took the western part of Baghdad and I MEF took the eastern half. The Tigris was the boundary between the two forces.
 
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Eagle601    RE:Was the USMC the appropriate force to send to Baghdad?--Eagle601   12/7/2004 1:53:31 AM
The original plan was for the 3rd ID to encircle Baghdad and then for the Marines and 82nd Airborne to enter and clear the city block by block. Of course the "Thunder Run" operations really negated the need for this. Actually military resistance collapsed extremely quickly and became the insurgent activities we see now within days. The Marines never engaged in any major conventional fighting that I've heard of in the Baghdad area. Not to take anything away, the battles at Nassiarayh(spelling?) and elsewhere were extremly brutal, but by the time the Marines reached Baghdad, the Iraqi military was broken.
 
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ambush    RE:Was the USMC the appropriate force to send to Baghdad?   12/7/2004 10:19:39 PM
>>Mike From Brielle RE:Was the USMC the appropriate force to send to Baghdad? 12/6/2004 6:43:35 PM 1: Shinsekki does not equal Benedict Arnold<< You are right of course. Unlike Shinsekki, Arnold demonstrated some leadership capability and professionalism before he screwed the Army over.
 
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ambush    RE:Was the USMC the appropriate force to send to Baghdad?   12/7/2004 10:24:02 PM
>>2: As you pointed out all Military programs (particullarly Military Construction - MILCON) come with some political baggage. This way they'll get plenty of practice deploying to 29 stumps ;)<< While they would probably benefit more from 29 Palms being Army they would moer than likely end up at NTC.
 
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