13:08 09 Jul 2003
It seems that the US Army and the Marines have significantly different approaches to their current mission in Iraq, according to this story in Strategy Page. The Army has very strict rules on when and where weapons can be carried, and how much ammunition each soldier is allowed. Army convoys go out of their way to NOT display weapons or put on a show of force. MPs at checkpoints are not to even handle their machine guns without specific orders from above. The Marines seem to think this approach is ridiculous.
While I agree that the US troops shouldn’t be pushing everyone around and needlessly threatening Iraqi civilians, I don’t recall hearing much about Marines coming under attack lately. I realize that the Army units in Iraq greatly outnumber the Marines, but if I’m an Iraqi irregular out to hit the US troops, would I choose the convoy of trucks with or without dozens of weapons pointing out in all directions?