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Thread: Soldier gets 24 years for killing Afghan civilians

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    Re: Soldier gets 24 years for killing Afghan civilians

    I was listening to a piece about Pvt. Manning and his early life on NPR this morning. It seems that he was the type of the person that should never have been in the Army in the first place. The only reason he was even in a uniform was because Army recruiting standards became lax and his father twisted his arm to join so that he would "have some instruction in his life."
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
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    Re: Soldier gets 24 years for killing Afghan civilians

    Quote Originally Posted by StillBallin75 View Post
    I was listening to a piece about Pvt. Manning and his early life on NPR this morning. It seems that he was the type of the person that should never have been in the Army in the first place. The only reason he was even in a uniform was because Army recruiting standards became lax and his father twisted his arm to join so that he would "have some instruction in his life."


    What specifically was laxed? what specific issue did you come across?
    Let evil swiftly befall those who have wrongly condemned us

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    Re: Soldier gets 24 years for killing Afghan civilians

    Quote Originally Posted by ReverendHellh0und View Post
    What specifically was laxed? what specific issue did you come across?
    Well, unrelated to this subject I've read a lot about how the Army lowered its education standards and granted more waivers for criminal offenses, etc. things like that in a drive to meet the Army's recruitment demands when it was expanding around 07-08. I don't think those stories are hard to find if you do a google search.

    However in Manning's case it seems that he was constantly in and out of trouble, his parents were divorced, he had family issues and his dad kicked him out of the house because he was gay, and when he was in the Army he was undisciplined and was prone to angry outbursts and throwing chairs around, things like that. He clearly didn't want to be in the military and the only reason he joined was because his dad twisted his arm. Just strikes me as someone who never should have been in a uniform in the first place.
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
    - Colonel Paul Yingling

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    Re: Soldier gets 24 years for killing Afghan civilians

    Quote Originally Posted by ReverendHellh0und View Post
    What specifically was laxed? what specific issue did you come across?
    Waivers.

    The Marine Corps has around 10 or 15 waivers that can be granted by recruiters. The Army has hundreds. The reason being is that Army recruitment has always been a difficult road. There job is to get people in...not keep them out.
    Last edited by MSgt; 03-29-11 at 01:09 PM.

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    Re: Soldier gets 24 years for killing Afghan civilians

    Quote Originally Posted by StillBallin75 View Post
    Well, unrelated to this subject I've read a lot about how the Army lowered its education standards and granted more waivers for criminal offenses, etc. things like that in a drive to meet the Army's recruitment demands when it was expanding around 07-08. I don't think those stories are hard to find if you do a google search.

    I have, often the claim is far exxagerated and not very accurate.



    However in Manning's case it seems that he was constantly in and out of trouble, his parents were divorced, he had family issues and his dad kicked him out of the house because he was gay, and when he was in the Army he was undisciplined and was prone to angry outbursts and throwing chairs around, things like that. He clearly didn't want to be in the military and the only reason he joined was because his dad twisted his arm. Just strikes me as someone who never should have been in a uniform in the first place.
    Was he convicted of a felony?

    you are right he never should have been in, however, unless he was a felon, and did not score on his ASVAB, etc, I don't see this as the Army's fault/
    Let evil swiftly befall those who have wrongly condemned us

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    Re: Soldier gets 24 years for killing Afghan civilians

    Quote Originally Posted by ReverendHellh0und View Post
    I have, often the claim is far exxagerated and not very accurate.





    Was he convicted of a felony?

    you are right he never should have been in, however, unless he was a felon, and did not score on his ASVAB, etc, I don't see this as the Army's fault/
    I'm not blaming the Army for this, I'm just saying it is what it is, unfortunately. Same with people like Major Hasan. There are just some people who don't belong in the military yet for whatever reason people overlook the problems until something big happens.
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
    - Colonel Paul Yingling

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    Re: Soldier gets 24 years for killing Afghan civilians

    Quote Originally Posted by StillBallin75 View Post
    I'm not blaming the Army for this, I'm just saying it is what it is, unfortunately. Same with people like Major Hasan. There are just some people who don't belong in the military yet for whatever reason people overlook the problems until something big happens.
    Notice what you just did. You aren't "blaming the Army," then go ahead and bring up yet another example, which happens to be ..ding ding ding...Army. Then you go ahead and group it as a "military problem."

    The reason this upsets me is that this has been going on for a very long time. You weren't even aware of what you wrote because it's natural. By lumping the never ending incidences that come out of the Army into the "military" you help to facilitate its continuation. The media does this. Politicians do this. Soldiers do this. As long as the Army doesn't have to own its responsibility and the "military" has the problem, they will contunue business as usual. Look at it.....

    - Manning's a traitor.

    - Hasan's a traitor and a murderer.

    - Targetting Qur'ans to Zero weapons.

    - Akbar's a traitor and murders with a grenade.

    - Burning bodies.

    - Jessica Lynch and crew get caught with Ipods in their ears and weapons stored in the back of vehicles on convoy.

    - Plots to murder civilians.

    - Abu-Ghraib.

    And this is just off the top of my head since 2003. What about Black Hawk Down? Mai Lai? It doesn't seem to matter the war or the generation. But there is one thing consistent isn't there? Are these Airmen? Sailors? Marines? No. They are soldiers from the U.S. Army. Do people honestly not see this? Are we so caught up in not wanting to bash on the Army that we go ahead and lump it as "military" so as to bash everybody? Parents expect their children to be trained as soldiers before they enter a combat zone. They don't expect them to not be able to defend themselves. They don't expect them to be victims of military blundering. They do not expect them to be murdered by fellow soldiers. But that's exactly what their children are set up for from one campaign to the next because nobody holds the U.S. Army accountable for it's lack of training and discipline. Nothing ever changes. Always the "military" takes the criticism while the Army hangs back in the shadows and designs excuses. "Oh, Jessica Lynch and crew aren't infantry." "Oh, we have more numbers." "Oh, everybody has problems and makes mistakes." "Oh, nobody could have known." "Oh, but this isn't the Army's fault" - Reverendhellhound.

    Well if these excuses are valid then where are the traitors in the other branches? Where are the plots to murder civilians? Why are only soldiers only captured? Where are the great blunders in the other branches? Why does the Army have so many Generals that defy authority and express their opinions as if already retired and working in Washington for a Senator? I have always stated that underneath all the designed excuses that allow the same old crap to persevere is a discipline problem. Soldiers here like to default into merely calling it bashing, but good god look at the examples. This isn't as simple as "bashing" anything. These aren't isolated incidents. These aren't mistakes in combat or accidents unavoidable. These are trends. And they are largely ignored as trends because branch pride won't allow for correction.
    Last edited by MSgt; 03-29-11 at 02:04 PM.

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    Re: Soldier gets 24 years for killing Afghan civilians

    MSgt:

    You said it yourself, the Army faces different pressures compared to the other branches. Their job is to keep people in, not kick people out. They face different pressures, and obviously they will have more problems than the Corps. The Air Force and Navy are downsizing. It appears that you are trying to indict their entire culture, the entire institution. Maybe you do have a point, but that's only one side of the story.

    For the record, when I said I don't blame the Army I meant that I don't blame recruiters for lowering standards. They were between a rock and a hard place.
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
    - Colonel Paul Yingling

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    Re: Soldier gets 24 years for killing Afghan civilians

    Due to their tougher physical standards, the USMC tends to weed out the losers/dirtbags and malcontents during boot. Due to their lower manpower requirements, and higher technical nature, the USAF and USN can be more selective in their recruiting so the losers never make it in.

    That leaves the Army, high manpower requirement and without the glamour of the air force and navy or the prestige of the marines. most of the marginal cases and outright losers and dirtbags end up in the army.

    I wish I had a dollar for every "soldier" I have had to discipline who was a washout from one of the other branches.
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    Re: Soldier gets 24 years for killing Afghan civilians

    Quote Originally Posted by StillBallin75 View Post

    You said it yourself, the Army faces different pressures compared to the other branches. Their job is to keep people in, not kick people out.

    No, I stated that it's the Army recruiter's job to get people in, not keep them out. While other branches have higher standards and far less waivers, the amount of waivers that are in the Army system suggests that recruitment is difficult for that branch. History suggests the same thing. But this is no excuse for a lack of training. Training involves behavioral changes, pride in history, outside box thinking, small unit leadership, discipline, integrity. Sure these things are taught. But they are not trained and there is a big difference.

    Look at it like this. There is a reason the Marine Corps is what it is. Do you think it's because we receive the same training? No. What is it about the Marine Corps mood that creates an organization that doesn't produce the trends of the Army? It absolutely has something to do with the culture and the institution. If you have two households full of kids and one seems to always be the one that continues to produce criminals, do we still insist that both houses have a problem that needs to be addressed so that the one doesn'thave to feel bad?

    Maybe it's because the Army is generic in nature. They are labeled "army" and their troops are just "soldiers." But is this an excuse to keep denying them training? Not maintaining higher discipline standards? I am so very tired of the nation having to be embarrassed over this garbage and our efforts abroad being more difficult than it has to be. And there are far too many "isolated" incidents from one event to the next for people to keep pretending that leadership and discipline isn't a culprit. This has always been more than an individual problem.

    By the way, we are all downsizing.
    Last edited by MSgt; 03-29-11 at 02:42 PM.

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