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Iraq: 2 Missing American Soldiers
Posted by: McQ on Sunday, June 18, 2006

Not a good development:
The American command in Baghdad confirmed that two Americans were missing on Friday after insurgents attacked a checkpoint they had set up on a canal crossing near the Euphrates River. One soldier was killed in the attack, which appeared to be an elaborate lure intended to isolate part of the force.
The first thing that came to my mind, not knowing the particulars, was what in the world were 3 American soldiers doing alone at an isolated checkpoint with no backup.

Reading on, I found out they weren't alone. They were part of a group of soldiers. Apparently the insurgents lured the rest of the group away with the intent of capturing or killing those that were left behind at the checkpoint:
At the time of the attack, the American soldiers were at a traffic control checkpoint on the edge of Karagol. According to the Iraqis, the checkpoint was guarded by about a dozen American soldiers who had arrived in three Humvees.

The checkpoint came under fire from insurgents operating from the fruit groves that line the road. The Americans in two of the Humvees took off in pursuit as the insurgents retreated into the groves, possibly to lure them in, the Iraqis said, leaving one Humvee and only three or four American soldiers at the checkpoint.

The checkpoint then came under attack from another direction by a group of seven or eight guerrillas, wearing kaffiyehs over their faces and black track suits, the Iraqis said. At least one of them carried a heavy machine gun, and two of them carried rocket-propelled grenades.

Minutes after the two Americans were taken away, a team of Americans arrived and began searching door to door in the area, the Iraqis said. By Saturday morning, the search had intensified, with soldiers scouring the area, helicopters surveying the landscape from above and divers going into canals, the American military said in a statement.
A witness saw the two soldiers being led to two cars by insurgents.

On first blush (and on the basis of this report only) it appears a basic tactical mistake was made. In the rush (and desire) to engage and defeat the insurgents who'd fired on them, the commander on the scene apparently split his force and chased the insurgents too far to be able to respond too or support the soldiers he left behind. The insurgents, apparently had planned for just such an occurrance. Their second force quickly overwhelmed the remaining soldiers and captured two of them, getting them out of the area very quickly.

I can understand both the desire and the mistake. Soldiers are there to engage the enemy, and, believe it or not, they want opportunities to do that. This type of mistake is usually made by young, aggressive leaders who may not be that experienced. And good militaries want aggressive leaders. I don't want this to be seen as me trying to second guess this or as an unwarranted criticism. It is simply my analysis based on the report at hand. What's unfortunate about these sorts of mistakes based in aggressiveness is they can end up tragically as this one has. One KIA and two MIA.

But that is how wars are conducted. Each side does everything in its power to get the enemy in the situation that is to their advantage. In this case the insurgents apparently planned on the Americans reacting aggressively and giving chase to those there to lure them off. We'll learn from this, we'll stress the lesson to our junior leaders and, hopefully, we won't see this happen again. In fact, it's phenomenal this hasn't happened sooner than this.

In the interim, pray for the safe return of the two we've lost.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

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In the interim, pray for the safe return of the two we’ve lost.
Indeed. I’m very much afraid, however, that they will become props in an upcoming terrorist beheading/execution video.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
I agree. Hopefully they are found - and quick. The last thing we need is for something horrific to happen to them, and then to have it displayed over and over again by the mainstream propaganda news, while they refuse to recognize any positive news from the front lines, and used to support the Murtha/Kerry/Pelosi position to cut and run. May God bless these missing soldiers and all of the troops.
 
Written By: DJ
URL: http://www.dantejoseph.com/madeinusa.html
Indeed. I’m very much afraid, however, that they will become props in an upcoming terrorist beheading/execution video
I’m betting before that happens they’ll be used as props in an upcoming Murtha/Pelosi press statement
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Why would they need to make a political statement at all? Both ideas are already in your heads. They’ve got you on the internet propagating their ideas before they (Murtha or Insurgents) can open their mouths!

Without reading between the lines, and without any political statements, this is another example of the best funded military force in the world getting bested by the most motivated. No matter what the strategy or the budget, no one is invincible and nothing is predictable in war. Especially victory.
 
Written By: David
URL: http://
Without reading between the lines, and without any political statements, this is another example of the best funded military force in the world getting bested by the most motivated.
And that is nonsense on a stick.

This is a single (and apparently first) incident at squad level, the result of a bad tactical decision by a young leader and it certainly doesn’t at all indicate ’another example’ of any such thing.

In fact, the argument can be made that the level of motivation was too great on the US side and it drove the bad decision.

But to pretend it has any broader implications than what I’ve mentioned is simply disengenuous propaganda.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
At least we don’t have the Geneva Convention to worry about now.
 
Written By: World Bank
URL: http://
"I can understand both the desire and the mistake."

Yeah, deja freakin’ vu. You can train people, tell them the tricks of the trade, share experiences, and 95% of the time they will do it right. Every once in a while someone gets over confident, over exuberent, and forgets or ignores the hard won lessons they have been taught. And some poor schmuck pays the price. I imagine the squad leader feels a little bad right now. Some lessons, tragically, have to be learned over and over and over and...

David
You are full of ***.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
"At least we don’t have the Geneva Convention to worry about now."

Now? Now!

It never applied to them anyway and they never applied it to us, so "now" was never at issue.

You dumb, man.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
This is something I dreaded would happen.

My fear is these soldiers will be the victims of more beheadings, or at the least, public castrations.
 
Written By: David Dunn
URL: http://
You can thank George War Bush for invading the country, disbanding its’ military and expecting the battle-hardened Iraqi officer corps to sit home and watch TV while their country was illegally gutted of its’ resources by U.S. corporations.
 
Written By: Sage
URL: http://
You can thank George War Bush for invading the country, disbanding its’ military
Good idea! Thank you, President Bush. (I’m sure that’s who you really meant.)
and expecting the battle-hardened Iraqi officer corps to sit home and watch TV while their country was illegally gutted of its’ resources by U.S. corporations.
Oh dear, now you’ve wandered off into lunatic land.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
"Oh dear, now you’ve wandered off into lunatic land."

No, American soldiers were kidnapped in lunatic land.
 
Written By: Sage
URL: http://
Good Job Sage, you needed to throw in something about Chimpy McShruburtonhitler or something, though to make it work best...
"Battle-hardened" Iraqi’s....huuuu’uuuum I guess you do get hardened if you lose 2/3 of the war’s you fight and nearly lose to the side with sticks and land mines. THAT was pretty funny... and of course the fact that the Iraqi Army had:
1) Pretty much "self-demobilized", i.e., "Gone Home to Momma" at the end of the war; and
2) Been a tool of Sunni repression for 30-40 years, would have made them PERFECT for operations in a post-Saddam environment. Just as we used the Wehrmacht in Germany in 1945... Oh WAIT...
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Sage’s free course instruction will start today with -
1) Schadenfreude 101.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
McQ, I love your catch phrase. I’m new to this blog and it has been in both of your posts that I’ve read. I can’t decide if that makes me 2/2 or you 0/2. Nonsense on a stick, like a corndog, right?

Well Krustypup, I must agree with you that this is the first public and most dramatic example for this conflict. I don’t mean to imply conspiracy with "public" but certainly it is possible that smaller, less dramatic events have been occurring. Perhaps a dialysis patient running from the best trained special forces in the world, and living to tell the tale.

But look back, back in time, and you will find OTHER conflicts, when a well funded military force was defeated, even in the smallest way by a better motivated one. Without touching US conflicts...Russo-Japanese War, Revolution of 1917, Mongol invasion of Japan ("attempted" is a necessary qualifier), even the sustained conflict in Sri Lanka could be an example. But what about US conflicts?

The Revolution (duh!), the Confederacy had a lot of success early in the civil war, Custer’s last stand, Afganistan v1.0, and then there was that whole Ho Chi Minh thing. Remember the N. Vietnamese transporting men and supplies using bicycles? So unless you’ve got an example of a G.I. heading for war in 1968 on his Huffy, start thinking a little wider.

As for disingenuous, politically approaching and pitching the need for a conflict were victory is assumed, that is disingenuous. I will agree that it is propaganda, as is damn near everything in print, and certainly everything from the government and the media bloggers included.

Now for my catch phrase. NEXT!
 
Written By: David
URL: http://
David, what the devil are you talking about? Your point is lost in a fog.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
David, what the devil are you talking about? Your point is lost in a fog.
Yes, he’s being overly clever and confusing everyone, to include himself.

What I got out of it all was that this single episode of the capture of our 2 soldiers somehow proves our eventual demise is foretold by little men in sneakers and that means doom and gloom for our effort in Iraq but that somehow Huffy is going to pull out of bankruptcy.

Or something like that.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
David,

I don’t think a standard of perfection with zero tolerance for mistakes is realistic, even for the "best funded military force in the world". Our soldiers, Marines especially, are better-trained than any of their predecessors. In spite of that, they are still individuals who act and react in a unique and therefore unpredictable manner. Not only is it impossible to judge the three soldiers that were killed, it is difficult to judge the person who decided to run off after the decoys without knowing what his orders and training were.

As to quantity of motivation, I’ll save my admiration for quality. Some serial-killers are highly motivated.
 
Written By: Immolate
URL: http://
I am so ashamed that I wasted my vote on a piece of crap like george warmonger bush. It is clear that the last three presidents produced by the republican party were nothing more then corrupt puppets who only represented the interests of the rich and elite of this country. There is a very special dark place in hell for these people who have manipulated the stupidity and one dimensional voting habits of the religeous right wing of this nation. The religious right wing of this nation should be ashamed. They will vote for any worthless idiot who claims to be against abortion. You people are anything but conservative and you do not represent the interests of the average typical American voter. Bush pimped the presidency and the the republican party has turned Congress and the Senate into an auction house for sale to the highest bidder in the corporate business community. Bush, Cheney and all of their republican suporters have a lot of innocent blood on their hands as they are responsible for the murder of our sons and daughters in illegal unconstitutional wasteful military actions that have nothing to do with protecting our nation. I’ll never make the mistake of voting republican again. Thanks for the memories GOP.
 
Written By: Johnny Texas
URL: http://

 
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