T Nation

Our Amazing Soldiers

http://michaelyon-online.com/wp/whos-responsible-for-losing-the-media-war-in-iraq.htm

? .05% of soldiers in Iraq were accused of any misconduct toward Iraqis in the past year.
? 15% of New York?s Police Department is accused of some misconduct during the year.
? .003% of military patrols have resulted in investigation.
? .16% of NYPD patrols result in investigation.
? Remove the incidents committed by one terribly led unit of prison guards (800th Military Police), and the military?s performance improves by more than 100%.
? In an environment at least 850 times as deadly as New York City, with a force of tens of thousands of teenagers who have no police training and who are working in communities where they do not even know the language, the U.S. military has done its policing job with 1/300th of the complaints that NYPD receives annually.
? On a per patrol basis, the military is 50 times less likely to receive a complaint than the NYPD.
? In the past year, New York City has lost one officer in the line of duty, or .002% of its force.
? Over the same period, the U.S. military in Iraq lost 842 or .7% of the in-country force (and 5,000 more wounded).

Zap,

Thank you. This is truly a GREAT post! Our military are true representatives of the soul of a great nation.

Headhunter

Dead civilians tend to not complain much.

I’m sure if the NYPD cops killed as many people as the troops do, they’d have a lot less complaints too.

Also factor in the fact that most of the Iraqi population might think it better not to complain about any mistreatment, less they become “collateral damage” soon after.

I think this is more of an example of the discipline and the level of respect and control the chain of command has of and with their troops–not that the troops in the armed forces are amazing because they don’t match the statistics of the NYPD.

EDIT–my more cynical response is that these statistics probably only reflect how good the military is at keeping their indiscretions “hush-hush”.

You are comparing apples to oranges. There is no way to even say those statistics are or should be comparable.

Besides you would have no way of knowing how many non-judicial punishments are handed out to military personnel.

Military Courts Marshall are a matter of public record where as Uniform Code of Military Justice Articles 15 are not. These types of punishments are handed out on a case-by-case basis and at the discretion of the commanding authority. It’s really hard to judge which indiscretions would be perused by court marshal in a combat zone and which would not. While I was active before the Iraq conflict I had seen people be court marshaled for nothing more than being 10 min late for a formation because they were “in dereliction of duty”. This probably wouldn’t happen as often in combat situations for many reasons.


Coalition: Vast Majority Of Iraqis Still Alive
According to U.S. Department of Defense statistics, of the approximately 24 million Iraqis who were not killed, nearly all are not in a military prison…

U.S. Army Gen. John P. Abizaid gave a positive assessment of the status of U.S. troops in Iraq.

“Yesterday alone, 137,980 American troops were not killed,” Abizaid said. “All in all, if we keep on like this, more than 90 percent of the brave men and women serving in Iraq will return home to see their families again.”
http://www.theonion.com/content/node/30610/print/

[quote]JustTheFacts wrote:
Coalition: Vast Majority Of Iraqis Still Alive
According to U.S. Department of Defense statistics, of the approximately 24 million Iraqis who were not killed, nearly all are not in a military prison…

U.S. Army Gen. John P. Abizaid gave a positive assessment of the status of U.S. troops in Iraq.

“Yesterday alone, 137,980 American troops were not killed,” Abizaid said. “All in all, if we keep on like this, more than 90 percent of the brave men and women serving in Iraq will return home to see their families again.”
http://www.theonion.com/content/node/30610/print/ [/quote]

Funny stuff…

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
http://michaelyon-online.com/wp/whos-responsible-for-losing-the-media-war-in-iraq.htm

? .05% of soldiers in Iraq were accused of any misconduct toward Iraqis in the past year.
? 15% of New York?s Police Department is accused of some misconduct during the year.
? .003% of military patrols have resulted in investigation.
? .16% of NYPD patrols result in investigation.
? Remove the incidents committed by one terribly led unit of prison guards (800th Military Police), and the military?s performance improves by more than 100%.
? In an environment at least 850 times as deadly as New York City, with a force of tens of thousands of teenagers who have no police training and who are working in communities where they do not even know the language, the U.S. military has done its policing job with 1/300th of the complaints that NYPD receives annually.
? On a per patrol basis, the military is 50 times less likely to receive a complaint than the NYPD.
? In the past year, New York City has lost one officer in the line of duty, or .002% of its force.
? Over the same period, the U.S. military in Iraq lost 842 or .7% of the in-country force (and 5,000 more wounded). [/quote]

There are lies, damned lies, and statistics. Lacey seems like a smart guy, and he’s obviously right in that our soldiers behave honorably and indeed admirably the vast majority of the time. But these numbers say very little.

Take, for example, the combat deaths. The U.S. military support and logistical system is massive (Camp Victory, Balad, dozens of other massive FOBs). There are tens of thousands of soldiers on these bases, which have everything from man-made lakes to Baskin Robbins, who leave the base maybe three or four times in a year’s tour. Look at the casualty numbers for actual combat troops, especially infantry, or combat support troops on frequent convoy duty, and the picture changes dramatically.

Likewise, as others have said, an Iraqi, especially a Sunni, is FAR less likely to mention misconduct, including physical abuse, than even the most beaten down guy in the Bronx.

None of this is meant to slander our soldiers, just to say be realistic and don’t toss out meaningless numbers. We’re in a dirty little war, and abuse and even murder of Iraqi civilians is not unheard of, even though we’re fighting one of the cleanest counter-insurgency campaigns in history, under a global media spotlight.

And if you want to bandy about numbers, the newest Lancet study on Iraqi civilian deaths strikes me as far more meaningful than what’s been posted above, as depressing as that is.

Over the top post.

The soldiers in Iraq are brave americans, and more importantly, individualism. The acts of a few do not represent the acts of many.

However, the lack of investigation, punishment, and prevention, no matter HOW MANY cases of abuse there are, is disgusting.

[quote]GDollars37 wrote:
And if you want to bandy about numbers, the newest Lancet study on Iraqi civilian deaths strikes me as far more meaningful than what’s been posted above, as depressing as that is.[/quote]

The Lancet numbers are fantasy. These numbers are reality even if it is unfair to compare the soldiers to the NYPD because of the many differences.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
The Lancet numbers are fantasy. These numbers are reality even if it is unfair to compare the soldiers to the NYPD because of the many differences.[/quote]

They are not “reality” because there are many factors that have been left out.

I think it’s interesting that people will quote statistics without reading how the study was performed and where the information was obtained, etc.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
The Lancet numbers are fantasy. These numbers are reality even if it is unfair to compare the soldiers to the NYPD because of the many differences.

They are not “reality” because there are many factors that have been left out.

I think it’s interesting that people will quote statistics without reading how the study was performed and where the information was obtained, etc.[/quote]

Because that info is often unobtainable.

Do you refute every statistic you see if you do not have intimate knowledge from where it came or only those that do not fit your political view?

The number of cases of abuse and misconduct that I don’t know about is truly disgusting. Truly. I’m disgusted by the amount of heinous shit those baby-killers do that I don’t know about. And just because I don’t know about it does not mean it doesn’t happen, that’s for sure!

And don’t think I don’t know it!

This is an un-holy war for OIL, man! And these jackbooters go around killing arabs and muslims both and they’re peace-lovers who wouldn’t hurt a fly!

That’s something I do know!

And the only soldiers not killing innocents and burning down the liberties of tommorrow’s broken yesterday and the one’s against this travesty of a war.

The above bullshit makes about as much sense as what most of the anti-war dispshits have posted here.

[quote]pookie wrote:
Dead civilians tend to not complain much.

I’m sure if the NYPD cops killed as many people as the troops do, they’d have a lot less complaints too.

Also factor in the fact that most of the Iraqi population might think it better not to complain about any mistreatment, less they become “collateral damage” soon after.

[/quote]

BUT DON’T YOU DARE QUESTION MY PATRIOTISM!

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
Do you refute every statistic you see if you do not have intimate knowledge from where it came or only those that do not fit your political view?
[/quote]

No. I do not refute all statistics–some are easily understood. I just question most because as a person who designs experiments I understand the subtle nuances involved with “massaging” data. Thus is the nature of a physicist. We tend to take measurement of the social sciences “with a grain of salt”.

Besides, I’m letting you off easy. We’ve discussed the uncertainty involved with a survey like this but most people involved with data analysis insist on knowing the error so we can gage the confidence of the results. All measurments contain uncertainty.

My mantra is you can’t know it until you can measure it–and if you can measure it you better know where the error comes from and how to measure that as well–or else you really don’t know it.

[quote]Hack Wilson wrote:
pookie wrote:
Dead civilians tend to not complain much.

I’m sure if the NYPD cops killed as many people as the troops do, they’d have a lot less complaints too.

Also factor in the fact that most of the Iraqi population might think it better not to complain about any mistreatment, less they become “collateral damage” soon after.

BUT DON’T YOU DARE QUESTION MY PATRIOTISM!
[/quote]

You had asthma also?

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
Do you refute every statistic you see if you do not have intimate knowledge from where it came or only those that do not fit your political view?

No. I do not refute all statistics–some are easily understood. I just question most because as a person who designs experiments I understand the subtle nuances involved with “massaging” data. Thus is the nature of a physicist. We tend to take measurement of the social sciences “with a grain of salt”.

Besides, I’m letting you off easy. We’ve discussed the uncertainty involved with a survey like this but most people involved with data analysis insist on knowing the error so we can gage the confidence of the results. All measurments contain uncertainty.

My mantra is you can’t know it until you can measure it–and if you can measure it you better know where the error comes from and how to measure that as well–or else you really don’t know it.[/quote]

In thise case, the error is in picking what you want to measure.
Why measure the “quality” of the US soldier? Why not measure the succes of the war in Iraq? Terrorists killed vs recruited. Increase or decrease in safety.

The fact is Bush sent your amazing soldiers to fight a war that he picked and that should (and could easily) have been avoided.
The fact is that he’s loosing that war.

No amount of measuring the degree of amazingness of your soldiers is going to change that.

Thanks to most of you for the positive remarks regarding those of us serving over here.

I wish more Americans could separate the appreciation of American servicemembers from feelings about the political difficulties of the war, as many posters here seem to be able to do.

Example…I have an uncle I’d looked up to since I was a child who stopped communicating with me because he stated he can’t separate support for the soldiers from support for the war. Was a real disappointment. He’s a teacher in Oregon and a West Point drop-out. I got over it, but still disappointing.

[quote]Wreckless wrote:
Hack Wilson wrote:
pookie wrote:
Dead civilians tend to not complain much.

I’m sure if the NYPD cops killed as many people as the troops do, they’d have a lot less complaints too.

Also factor in the fact that most of the Iraqi population might think it better not to complain about any mistreatment, less they become “collateral damage” soon after.

BUT DON’T YOU DARE QUESTION MY PATRIOTISM!

You had asthma also?[/quote]

ROTFLMFAO!

[quote]Wreckless wrote:
The fact is Bush sent your amazing soldiers to fight a war that he picked and that should (and could easily) have been avoided.
The fact is that he’s loosing that war.

No amount of measuring the degree of amazingness of your soldiers is going to change that.[/quote]

Let’s see, The U.S. completely removed the replaced the government and dismantled its military. Whether you agree with the war or not, I’d hardly call that losing. The insurgency being worse than anticipated was a stupid mistake but not a lost cause. The insurgency is an act of desperation rather than an organized military force to be reckoned with. You can love or hate bush all you want, but the Iraqis had their ass handed to them and so did the Afghanis for that matter.
If somebody came to our country and wiped out our government and pushed it in to hiding, I doubt we could claim victory just because we are managing to destabilize the new establishment.