Stupid military went ahead and acted without even forming a subcommittee to discuss this

On an Instapundit post about the US Army being told to stop distributing food in Haiti:

For the NGO community [in Afghanistan], to be seen co-operating with the US military was the kiss of death. NGO co-ordination meetings specifically warned against co-operation with the US military, as opposed to UN agencies. The supposed reason was that they wanted a clear line between the “killers” and those that were “there to help”. They would actually COMPLAIN that the military was out doing things like rehabilitating wells and such, whining that these were things that should be left to the aid agencies. The irony of the fact that we were all sitting in a meeting, DISCUSSING it, while the US military had already been out DOING it, was completely lost on them.

This calls for immediate discussion!


  1. People love to hate the military. I’ve talked to a couple of Canadian folks that, while not hateful of the US or the military, felt their military was morally superior because they just deploy as “peace keepers,” not as aggressors. It seemed to be lost on them that there would be no peace to keep if someone wasn’t willing to knock heads first.

    Personally, I’d put a hundred bucks down that if you gave the military their say of personnel and funding to accomplish the whole rescue/recovery mission without anyone else helping, they could do it faster and more efficiently. But then that is not their job.

    1. Like Nadnerbus said…

      All these NGO’s fighting for slices of the pie and not helping people.

      F’em off and let the army do the job…then they can cry and complain all they want, and it can be a big media circus, but AFTER the people have been helped.

      The ‘big O’ should tell the NGO’s where to go.

      1. Let them cry. Hell, I’d prefer if they raised a fuss and said some shitty things. Then they go interview soldiers, or the people affected, and they don’t get satisfactory answers from them. The soldiers say they’re doing it because its their job and people need help, and the people are thankful the military’s response time is faster than under the NGOs.

        Meaning they can’t report anything unless they pay off some victim to talk shit about the military.

  2. NGOs tend to be made up of tons of peace loving hippies, and there’s nothing that hippies hate more than the Military Industrial Complex.
    Plus, just like the original commenter, my experience in Afghanistan was pretty similar. I know my Engineer unit cleared at least five times as many square feet of minefield, nevermind the schools and clinics we built as part of our Provincial Reconstruction Teams, on top of clearing one of the main roads of a pretty nasty avalanche once the snow started melting…
    Like he said, we get shit done while they’re all sitting around talking about how to do it without too many people getting butt-hurt.

  3. It’s important to consider that this isn’t what the military is for. A military organization performing humanitarian functions (such as re-building wells) is no less ridiculous than a humanitarian organization performing military functions (such as artillery barrages).

    That’s not to disparage the work being performed by the troops, but rather to shed light on the fact that organizations that SHOULD have been doing it, aren’t.

    Soldiers and Marines are doing all sorts of menial tasks in A-stan, whilst being short on people (just .24 personnel per square mile, versus 8.24 in Vietnam).
    While the Department of Defense is building wells, where the hell are the OTHER departments in the middle of all this?

    1. Excellent point.

      One of the primary issues we’ve had in the Stan and Sandbox is the lack of an integrated (at the Fed level) plan on “who” “does what”, “when”, and “how often” etc. A subset of this issue is lack of personnel continuity amongst those agencies, NGOs, militaries, and contractors who are involved. This is especially true at the senior mangament level where knowledge over time is vitally important. What’s happened, how it happened, what worked and did not, knowing who the real “take care of business” personnel are in any specific area or effort………that sort of thing. People come and go so frequently from agencies (especially the contracting efforts I’ve been invovled in), and often take their files and records with them, the next person to occupy that slot is to a large degree; starting from scratch again.

  4. As I left the ‘Stan last fall, we were in the midst of a “civilian surge” to get the other DoD departments involved and integrated. We were told to stand by and prepare for the massive influx of 300 or so civilians who would fix what we’d been screwing up for the past 8 years.

    They made our DoS political advisor one one of the DCGs, started building new office space, and kicked 70 soldiers out of two-man RLB barracks so the building could be rewired and remodeled for one-man rooms, to meet “minimum civilian living condition” requirements.

    Imagine our joy when a bunch of 24-year-old GS-11-types showed up, and told us now only how we were screwed up by not knowing how to teach to teach the population to govern and not be corrupt, but that the living and working conditions were completely unacceptable!

    Gruff SGM: “You ever been out to one of the outlying COPs and met a Afghan, sonny?”
    24-yr-old GS-11: “Well, no — it’s too dangerous. You have to secure the area for us first!”

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