Hmm... Well my take on it is that unless I had been in that situation myself it is really hard for me to comment on it.
I recall seeing some of the footage of some of the harsher acts (abitrary executions) carried out by US soldiers and remember asking myself 'If I had spent the last day and a half being shot at and mortar bombed etc.. possibly seeing my friends and colleagues killed, how would I react when I finally got my hands on those people?'
The answer is... I really, tuly don't know. Part of me wants to think I would a consummate professional, but the reality is that is a sort of pressure almost impossible to imagine.
Early on in the Irag conflict a high-ranking British commander was asked what he thought of the US troops in relation to the British ones. His rather curt response was 'Well... There's a lot of them'.
I think there is a massively different ethos between the British and US armies. By all accounts we have a far smaller but more highly-trained army whereas the US military has overwhelming numbers and all the latest tech. Not saying one of these is right or wrong, but I think perhaps our longer experience in that region helped us in the early stages of the conflict. Of course now, we are all lumped together as a common enemy.
The US military commitments around the globe, whether we judge them right or wrong, demand a high intake of recruits to keep numbers up and so in this regard it is only natural that their training would not be as thorough as a smaller, professional career army.
I walked past some 'Socialist Worker' (left wing activist paper) salesmen today who were shouting 'troops out of Iraq' on their megaphones. When I stopped to talk to them and suggest that however much I was opposed to the war that I felt to withdraw all troops now would be an invitation to mass genocide, I was roundly booed and yet offered no alternative as to how to save Iraqi lives.
I was wondering what your take on this would be. Is there now a way to withdraw western military forces from the region without the place descending into utter chaos?