Interesting little article (actually, it's not so much an article but a steno job by Tom Ricks) about an AAR delivered by a warrant in A-stan.What I find a little depressing is the degree to which this is no-shit-Sherlock infantry 101. Stay off the roads and trails? Goddam, troop, my platoon daddy taught me that lesson he and his homies had learned the hard way (in the A Shau in 1967) waaaayyy back in 1982. Where the hell else do you think your enemy is going to put the mines, hero? Y'all been to war for, what, six or seven years now, and you're still forgetting this?
Having to remind the gyrenes about walking both point and slack point? About security halts? About rally points? Crossing linear danger areas?
One selling point of having a volunteer Army (and the USMC has been volunteer since 1945) was to prevent the "not-in-Vietnam-twelve-years-but-one-year-twelve-times" syndrome. If this warrant is ragging the troops for CRS disease, it sounds like this was either one fucked up platoon or we're having a problem learning and applying the simple old infantry tactics and techniques. All this stuff was hammered home in the Sixties in Vietnam. My generation learned it from the guys who came back to be our platoon sergeants and first sergeants and passed it on to our troops in the Eighties and Nineties when WE were platoon sergeants and first sergeants.It's a little irritating to think that we're reinventing the patrolling wheel having supposedly been at war for all this time. I think we agree that the U.S. has some serious issues with strategic thinking. This little article suggests that we might have some tactical problems, too.