cedarjet
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Why Have American Soldiers Lost The Will To Win?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 2:51 am

I don't get it. In the aftermath of 9/11, the US military was REALLY gung-ho, one thing that stands out in my mind was thousands of navy guys (and, presumably, girls) standing in line on the deck of an aircraft carrier spelling out in enormous letters, 9-11 LET'S ROLL. All those soundbite interviews with servicemen rabbiting on about protecting freedom (as if attacking non-threatening, unarmed countries = protecting freedom...but that's another conversation) etc etc.

Now they've been in Iraq for, like, two months, and they're all whining about wanting to come home, demanding Rumsfeld's resignation on Good Morning America, and most hilariously, a soldier interviewed by the NY Times (which is not a leftie publication, as anyone who has heard the name William Safire will attest) said, "This is totally, totally uncalled for." Totally, totally uncalled for?! WTF?!

The whole Iraq thing was a monumental mistake in my opinion, and was never going to make America a safer country. But either way, it wasn't going to be easy and I thought from hearing all those "whatever it takes" / "freedom will prevail" pre-war soundbites that that was understood. This is a war to take over a foreign (VERY foreign) country, a horrendously dangerous, longterm job. Where is the commitment from America's armed forces?

I'm really surprised how quickly that 'Will To Win' evaporated. Do any of those guys whining about still being in Iraq after a whole two or three months have any idea what it was like in Europe in WW2 for American forces? Were there American GIs fighting their way across occupied France, getting shot at and starved and god knows what else (100,000 killed btw), whinging about the whole experience being "totally, totally uncalled for?" Come on guys, you talk up a good fight, now you're in it, stop complaining.

Anyone?
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
KROC
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RE: Why Have American Soldiers Lost The Will To Win?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 3:21 am

The "Will to Win" is still there. Do not be so niave to think otherwise. The media will seek out those disenchanted, because that will sell papers, make people tune in etc. As for thsoe who want to come home...have you ever served in combat? You know, away from your wife, family, friends, home, comforts, etc. Yeah, didn't think so. Before you breeak out with crap like this, you might want to talk to all the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines serving over there, and see if the "Will to Win" is really lost.
 
727LOVER
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RE: Why Have American Soldiers Lost The Will To Win?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 3:43 am

Maybe they realize they shouldn't be there! By the way, isn't talking against Rummy like a military crime or something or is that only if u talk against the prez?

As for thsoe who want to come home...have you ever served in combat? You know, away from your wife, family, friends, home, comforts, etc. Yeah, didn't think so.

No I haven't. I'm a fruit! They won't let me serve.
I feel woozy....what did you put in that Pudding Pop?
 
KROC
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RE: Why Have American Soldiers Lost The Will To Win?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 3:55 am

No I haven't. I'm a fruit! They won't let me serve.

Well "fruit", you can serve as long as you do not broadcast your sexuality...
 
Greg
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RE: Why Have American Soldiers Lost The Will To Win?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 3:55 am

Sure you could have...you just couldn't tell them...

Of course, that was when you were RIPE fruit...now your just OLD fruit.
 Smile
 
HOMER71
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RE: Why Have American Soldiers Lost The Will To Win?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 4:02 am

KROC is right, we can't gauge the soldiers' will by perception, especially the ones provided by the media. I'm guessing the will is there, it's just hard to express it when you're participating in tedious raids for Saddam and his loyalists while trying not to harm Iraqi civilians.

Of course, all of the criticisms and protests against the American "occupation" of Iraq isn't helping, either. And, no, I'm not saying "Quit whining, support our troops no matter what, you ungrateful hippie idiots", I'm just saying the troops' morale can be affected by it.

BTW, KROC, what do you think of open-faced roast beef sandwiches?  Big grin

[Edited 2003-09-08 21:03:37]
"On spaceship earth there are no passengers...only crew."
 
pacificjourney
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RE: Why Have American Soldiers Lost The Will To Win?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 4:03 am

KROC is right 727LOVER.

Don't make the same mistake he did with the matching shoes and purse and you will be fine.

Oh thats right, he was in the Air Force so no one noticed anyway.
" Help, help ... I'm being oppressed ... "
 
GDB
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RE: Why Have American Soldiers Lost The Will To Win?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 4:46 am

Easier to win when the enemy is a well defined army, or in the case of Iraq, a 5th rate military hit by sanctions and no modernization for 13 years.
Counter Insurgency is difficult, sensitive and positive victories hard to come by.
Hi-Tech kit means a lot less in this situation, well trained troops with some idea of the culture they are working in is essential.
It is winnable, but whether that still is true in a democracy with a 24 hours news media is less clear.
Throw in the US experience which in recent years has all been about quick, high tech, low cost, largely air power driven operations, the ghosts of Vietnam, a populace which is adverse to casualties, an administration which seems totally incompetent (no real post war planning anyone?).
A crude campaign to link Sept 11th with Iraq (which consistent polls suggest a large slice of the population actually swallows), Bush was at it again last night with the latter, if there is another terrorist attack on US soil he'll live to regret that.
Better yet, he managed to alienate the very people who would normally provide decent numbers of troops, now he has the gall to ask them for help!
US troops are volunteers, if they don't like being in Iraq, they can leave the forces when they return home.
However, Rumsfeld's refusal to provide more US troops is staggering, and it won't last, he'll have to give way sooner or later on that.
UK is putting more troops in, and relatively speaking, they had an easier time of it than the US forces.
How could Bush sell it if things don't improve farily rapidly, "we face more cost....more loss" No, that brings back memories of the 1960's.

 
cedarjet
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RE: Why Have American Soldiers Lost The Will To Win?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 5:00 am

Well, I was worried about coming back to non-av after posting the thread starter, it may be a little harsh so thank you for not burying me for that. No I haven't served in combat and hope I never do; I would only take up arms if my country was invaded. My thought is just that the guys and girls in Iraq volunteered for the job, and seem not to like it very much. I hope they all get home safely.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
727LOVER
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RE: Why Have American Soldiers Lost The Will To Win?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 5:24 am

broadcast your sexuality...

You mean LIVING???
Alas, I'll save this for another thread.
I only said it beacause you were berating a non-military person for having an opinion like he's a lower form for not enlisting.


Back to the topic:

The soldiers have not lost the will. They are just realizing, like the administration, that this will not be a cakewalk. Remember, frustration is not equivilent to losing the will and resolve.
I feel woozy....what did you put in that Pudding Pop?
 
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STT757
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RE: Why Have American Soldiers Lost The Will To Win?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 7:55 am

"Now they've been in Iraq for, like, two months, and they're all whining about wanting to come home, demanding Rumsfeld's resignation on Good Morning America,"

You are posting totaly inaccurate information..

Most US troops have been there for almost 1 year now, including the build up in Kuwait. It's terribly Hot there, terribly hot. It makes people's jobs that much harder when you can't sleep at night because the tempature never drops.

My Uncle a Lt.Colnel in the USMC Reserves out of San Diego got back about a month ago, the conditions there he said are the worst. The heat and the total lack of decent services over there is putting a tremendous strain on the troops.

The troops are angry not because of the cause, but because many were "promised" or under the impression that troop levels in Iraq would drop "dramatically" after the war.

Most thought they would be home a month or so after the war ended, there are 149,000 US troops in Iraq. They are hot (VERY VERY HOT), tired, dirty and have been away from home and their loved ones for almost a year (more for some folks).

They have not lost "the will to fight" , on the contrary they are doing remarkably well. Almost all the "most wanted" have been captured, and attacks against US troops have dramatically decreased (no attacks in the past 7-10 days).

But they are looking for some relief, and they want to come home. Who blames them.

The relief will come first when the tempature starts dropping in the next couple months, that will make the comfort and morale of the troops jump almost more than anything except getting relieved and sent home.

And second when some more troops arrive, the heck with Germany and France what they need over there are the Turks, Indians and Pakistanis.

That's why they are going back to the UN, these Arab/Islamic/Muslim countries would take heat for joing the US in Iraq without permission from the UN to squash extremist protests in their own Countries.

Iraq has the second largest oil reserves in the World, what they need to do is secure the infastructure, upgrade the infastructure and start pumping oil like crazy.

The US can be paid back through the oil revenues, if Iraq can get $3 Billion a month in sales going (easily attainable, and the goal for the rebuilding) then Iraq can take $1.5-2 of that $3 billion each month to continue their rebuilding and pay the US back with the other half.

If the US could receive $15-$18 Billion a year from Iraqi oil sales it would not take that long to pay back the $87 Billion, then you can add interest.

However it is not likely that they will be able to acheive that kind of oil revenue now, most likely 3-5 years from now.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
jaysit
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RE: Why Have American Soldiers Lost The Will To Win?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 9:52 am

The remnants of the enemy in post-WWII Europe were discernible: fleeing Nazi snipers and Fascists running for their lives.

Iraq is different. How do American soldiers (many of whom had probably only seen an Arab on the Disney Alladin video purchased for their toddlers bought prior to this war) determine who is a friend or foe? How does an American soldier forget the lessons of Vietnam so instilled in our post-Vietnam culture? What is the role of the US in Iraq?

In post WWII Europe, it was quite clear that the allies had indeed won the war. No one even knows what it means to win in Iraq. Rid the world of terrorism? Our President may be a naive dunce prone to declaring victory in borrowed AirForce drag at a cost of $ 1 million, but our soldiers know better than that. (Makes my blood boil whenever I see that scallawag pretending to be an aviator in his TopGun sequel scripted by Karl Rove, although I'm sure it gave many a Republican a massive hardon).
Atheism is Myth Understood.
 
jcs17
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RE: Why Have American Soldiers Lost The Will To Wi

Tue Sep 09, 2003 10:00 am

I wouldnt say that American soldiers "have lost their will to win." But, I would say that being away from home for a long time can certainly make these soldiers re-think their priorities. Anyway, I wouldnt exactly judge the soldiers' will to win by interviews from the media. Of course the media is going to show the soldier that is going to be pissed off, and making inappropriate comments to the reporters about that. I mean, its not very interesting to show a soldier say, "Yeah, I'm glad we're here." The media creates a lot of stuff, and controversy is one.
America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
 
Alpha 1
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RE: Why Have American Soldiers Lost The Will To Win?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 10:08 am

I don't see the "will to win" as diminished in the soldiers, but they know there's not much behind them to replace them, unless Bush goes begging to the UN. I think they're beginning to feel like more and more Americans-that this Crusade by Bush was a mistake from the beginning, but I think most of them want to make the best of the situation, and want to help the Iraqi people as much as they can.

You try living with the feeling, Cedarjet, that someone might come up behind you with a pistol and blow your brians out at any moment, and see if you'll alwasy be "gung-ho" about everything. And they haven't been overseas for "like 2 months". They've been there, on deployment, for over a year now-some are new fathers and haven't even held their newborns, and they're damn worried that they never will, just like you or me would be.

It's easy to jump all over someone who's shoes you've never trodden in, my friend.
 
IMissPiedmont
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RE: Why Have American Soldiers Lost The Will To Win?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 3:14 pm

Well, CedarJet, would you really like to see the US soldier turned loose? We do not kill without provacation, we do not abuse the conquered and we generallyspeaking do not hate anyone. Religion or nationality.

But, like my Rottweiller, when pushed to the wall and given free reign will chew you up and spit your ass out until called back.

Would you like a US military allowed total freedom? I think not. We are restrained by nature and law but are free to criticize our leadership without repurcussion.
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
 
saintsman
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RE: Why Have American Soldiers Lost The Will To Win?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 4:09 pm

I wonder if any discontent is really down to the conditions out there. It is not a nice place and as has been mentioned rather hot. If the American soldier is used to living in air conditioned barracks, supported by ice cold coke machines, pizzas and McDonalds and now finds they are not available then he is not going to be happy.

We Brits have always been a bit jealous of all the perks that the US forces enjoy but that said, maybe the US forces have become a bit 'soft' (NO disrespect intended) and have forgotten their old saying "When the going gets tough, the tough gets going".
 
artsyman
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RE: Why Have American Soldiers Lost The Will To Win?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 5:17 pm

I actually believe that the US is safer because of this Iraq war. Not because of the direct threat of Iraq, but because the leaders of the rest of the Islamic terrorist spawning countries now have to think about whether they want their own country invaded, or government overthrown if they partake in attacks against the US. If Iran starts with the "prove it" chants when the atomic energy commision announces that Iran is producing Nukes, and then starts with the same crap that the Taliban and Iraq played, then Iran (for right or for wrong) will go the same way. Next country on deck will really have to think about whether or not it is worth it to pursue that same path.
 
bobrayner
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RE: Why Have American Soldiers Lost The Will To Win?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 5:34 pm

the same crap that the Taliban and Iraq played
Err.... what on earth did Iraq have in common with the Taliban?

Personally, I don't think that recent events have helped US safety in the long term. How did Iraq first get WMD? Because it was fighting Iran, and Iran was the bad guy back then. Saddam Hussein certainly benefited from his early reputation for "interrogating" suspected communists. Al Qaeda &c were beneficiaries of the USA's opposition to the USSR in Afghanistan.

There were lots of other wars-by-proxy. The problem is that your proxy may eventually turn around and bites the hand that fed it. I have no doubt that proxies are being used now; what trouble are you saving up for yourself 10 years in the future?

Oh, and it should be common sense to avoid upsetting allies, and annoying the fractious... for similar reasons.
Cunning linguist
 
artsyman
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RE: Why Have American Soldiers Lost The Will To Win?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 6:14 pm

Bob,
I am not an American, I was just commenting on some points of view. I am not suggesting that I support what I put in the thread, just that I see it as a potential outcome
 
QANTASforever
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RE: Why Have American Soldiers Lost The Will To Win?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 6:42 pm

Uh, what does 9-11 have to do with this Iraq war?

Seriously - explain it to me please. Bush hasn't been able to so far.

qff
Fighting for the glory of the Australian Republic.
 
KROC
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RE: Why Have American Soldiers Lost The Will To Win?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 7:58 pm

KROC is right 727LOVER.

Don't make the same mistake he did with the matching shoes and purse and you will be fine.

Oh thats right, he was in the Air Force so no one noticed anyway.


Top notch as always PacificJourney  Insane
 
teva
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RE: Why Have American Soldiers Lost The Will To Win?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 11:10 pm

Win a battle or a war is easy, and has been done very well by the soldiers.
The problem is that in any conflict, the most difficult is not to win a war, but to win peace.
And for this part, nothing was planned or prepared.
And the major mistake done by the Pentagone was to ask troops to be the police.
Soldiers are good for their job: combat. But never ask them to do a police job. Police has to do it.
That is a lesson we learned from history: In Algeria, our troops were strong enough to win a war. the they never succeeded in the police tasks assigned to them by politicians. As a result, they tortured, killed, but had to leave the country.
In Bosnia, better results have been achieved in cities where army has been replaced by policemen sent by the EU.
In Irak, replacing soldiers by policemen would bring positive results faster.
Teva
Ecoute les orgues, Elles jouent pour toi...C'est le requiem pour un con
 
IMissPiedmont
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RE: Why Have American Soldiers Lost The Will To Win?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 2:47 pm

"I wonder if any discontent is really down to the conditions out there."

Ya'll can just go on thinking such if you choose. You're sadly mistaken though.

As I stated previously, push a bit and you'll find out what mettle the US troops, and people, carry. September 11, 2001 was as a gnat on the ass of my rottweiller to the USA. Do you want to be the real threat? I doubt it as I know my country rather well. We will fight each other happily until threatened from outside.
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.

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