Wednesday, May 21, 2014


We sometimes did this as an occupational hazard with our own. Some people cannot be trained. One should recognize this and just move on. It is not so much the clash of civilization or the clash of culture as a fundamental gap over which information and training will not pass.

Good soldiers spent lifetimes trying to train people in the basics of modern warfare. The British spent centuries trying this with Egyptians and Jordanians and countless others. The U.S. just spent 13 years trying to do this with Iraqis and Afghanis and the results are far from palatable.  Why would or should we waste a penny on training Libyan terrorists to be better soldiers? What is the payoff for us? Can we relax at the end of the day and say, with satisfaction, that we just trained a better version of the NKVD, Khmer Rouge or Pathet Lao?

The British thought that they could do it after spending a few decades with the Welsh and a couple of centuries with the Scots and Irish but everything the US has done since the initiation of the Cold War has been training "allies" to stand by us in the line of battle against a common menace. What a dismal failure all of that was.

Can anybody point to even one single example where the training payed off?  And no, you don't get to count the Germans or Japanese. I'll invite you to start with the Italians or the Belgians or the Dutch, if you like. If they're not noticeable by their absence, they're noticeable by their total lack of effectiveness. Seriously, what's the point of sending Dutch troops anywhere? Oddly we don't even refer to Central or South America or Africa. We also don't mention Southeast Asia where we spent a generation doing this thing.

Not What You Think. SAS in North Africa Long Ago
Perhaps that's it. I may miss the underlying purpose of the 'training of foreign soldiers'. It's possible that the Forces of Order need people perfectly trained in screwing things up. We are past masters of doing that. It probably doesn't help at all that the guys above are pretty much the ones we send off to do Foreign Internal Defense training (FID). They specialize in making things go from bad to worse. How could you think that they know how to build when their mission is always to destroy? [If you buy into their building program, consider the promotion rate for builders as opposed to destroyers.]

I read yesterday that the Navy decommissioned its own internal training triumph of bureaucratic training apparatus. That was a very bad idea from the outset and it became a nightmare in short order. We lost tens of thousands of man-days of real training to those clowns as they sought to grow their empire with their own uniquely meaningless training events. I still feel good after spending some effort to kill them before they metastasized. They weren't evil, they were just very very wrong. They leached resources like nothing since the Space Shuttle.

RADM Morneau (EOD) was present at the disposal. A post for another day. There used to be room for one SPECWAR 1 star from the Navy and there were no SPECOPS admirals since forever. There was a reason for that. A very good reason.

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