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Blackwater verdict

Board and Seize

Marine Recon
Verified SOF
Joined
Jan 29, 2013
Messages
133
#21
Anyway, just wanted to give some props.
Thanks 6-2. I actually find myself playing both sides of this issue depending on the audience. Too often, in civ-world (especially way up here in the ivory tower), knee-jerk reactions fall on the other side of the prevailing sentiment here. Just look at some of the commentary about Clint Eastwood's new movie. Apparently Kyle was just a racist, hate-filled murderer. Closer to this side, people are responding to those kind of comments by calling their authors race-betraying, anti-American, dirty hippies who should be killed and raped (in no particular order).

To me, it is the thought-process that is toxic, not the topic. We humans have a strong tendency towards an unconsidered, dogmatic, often illogical, and response when aspects of our world-view or identity are challenged. I see this tendency as the evil root from which many of our social and organizational problems come from. This is where you get the 'if was good enough for Chesty..." line of 'reasoning'. It is also the (a?) source of organizational inertia.

In my former unit I was an instructor at a marksmanship and tactics course. While I was there, we conducted a serious review of the TTP's we were teaching, and found that many of them were outdated, based on wrong information, based on nothing, or had been distorted over the generations. So, caring about the proficiency and safety of our students (going beyond their time at the course) we began to research improvements and then implemented them. I am still amazed by the strength and violence of the reactions that older guys had to our proposed changes. It seems to me that this came from what they perceived as a personal assault. I am convinced that so many of these guys had based their sense of self-worth on being good at their job - not entirely unreasonable. But being good at their job was really how good they were at specific tasks. So a guy who has 5 shooting packages under his belt (all taught more or less identically since the last curriculum update in the early nineties) feels that he has mastered his craft because he can 'combat glide' (the most outrageously non-ergonomic way to walk imaginable) like a boss. When we whippersnappers began teaching that not only was that not the best technique, but that it actually held back their skills, they felt as though they were personally under attack.

Getting long winded here...

To sum it up, orthodoxy is one of the greatest forces in the world that prevents us from fulfilling our human potential (in whatever field). And my favorite quote yet from a professor:
"Curiosity is the antidote to orthodoxy" When we respond immediately, that is a good indication that we are responding emotionally, which means that we are nor (and often not even capable of) engaging rationally.

-B&S
 

8654Maine

Recon Marine
Verified SOF
Joined
Dec 9, 2012
Messages
974
Location
Over the Rainbow
#22
B&S, dude, I agree 100% in regards to the issue of orthodoxy.

It pains me to see folks who can't think and not question dogma.

It happens on the shooting range, in CQB, in patrolling, in medicine, and all facets of life.

Oh, and 6-2, your "compliment" was just a back handed insult.

What does "As a civilian, it's good to see this view expressed by a member of a gun-carrying community" mean?

It implies that you, as a civilian, are some enlightened life-form while members of the gun crowd are knuckleheads.

I see way more douche-bag, ill-informed, defiantly-ignorant civilians than you infer.
 

Ocoka

Combined Action
Verified Military
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
Messages
4,855
Location
Decisive Terrain
#23
...I am still amazed by the strength and violence of the reactions that older guys had to our proposed changes. It seems to me that this came from what they perceived as a personal assault...
-B&S
War evolves, TTP has to evolve with it. You're very right about orthodoxy. Unfortunately, the military, as an establishment, traditionally tends to cling to the past. I've always found it very strange that the organizations that seem to reject innovation and progress are the very ones that depend upon innovation and progress to conduct successful operations. Look how most senior officers clung to their conventional warfare doctrine all throughout the war in Vietnam, (Westmoreland in particular), in a conflict that clearly called for the unconventional and innovative. And it never seems to change. The obstructionists always try to block the facilitators.
 

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
Administrator
Joined
Sep 8, 2006
Messages
13,051
Location
Not Afghanistan
#25
War evolves, TTP has to evolve with it. You're very right about orthodoxy. Unfortunately, the military, as an establishment, traditionally tends to cling to the past. I've always found it very strange that the organizations that seem to reject innovation and progress are the very ones that depend upon innovation and progress to conduct successful operations. Look how most senior officers clung to their conventional warfare doctrine all throughout the war in Vietnam, (Westmoreland in particular), in a conflict that clearly called for the unconventional and innovative. And it never seems to change. The obstructionists always try to block the facilitators.
It does accept change...on it's terms and at the expense of other areas. I point this out because you'll see some embrace our ability to "rapidly field blah, blah, blah" and TOTALLY ignore or miss the point in other areas. New plane? Yep. New CAS platform? Uh...why? New ISR plane? We'll take 50! New ship? Yep. New approach to mental health? Man up. New approach to physical rehabilitation? Look at our badass gym! I see it in IT/ electronics where everyone wants their digital awesome until they have to write a check for it and then suddenly analog is just fine.

Evolution is unremitting, Either through apathy, financial reasons, fear, territory, "change is bad".... we hinder our growth. At times we don't change because we should, but because someone forced us to shed our old skin. That's problematic.
 

pardus

Verified Military
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
9,885
#26
Former Blackwater security guards get lengthy prison sentences for Iraq shootings



Fair enough from where I stand.

Even before the trial began, defense lawyers had identified multiple issues as likely forming the basis of an appeal, including whether there was proper legal jurisdiction to charge the defendants in the first place.


The law under which they were charged, the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, covers the overseas crimes of Defense Department civilian employees, military contractors and others who are supporting the American war mission. But defense lawyers note that the Blackwater defendants worked as State Department contractors and were in Iraq to provide diplomatic, not military, services.
Now, whether this ruling was legal or not, maybe another matter entirely.