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Comments by YACCS
Friday, September 02, 2005

The price of failure

From Iraq to New Orleans

George Bush has failed.

He has failed his office, he has failed the people of New Orleans, who he was elected to serve.

But most of all, he has failed the country.

This is not what Americans expect people to do in Bosnia. If Bosnians had been treated like the citizens of New Orleans, Americans would have been outraged. Wes Clark would have been retired in disgrace. It would have been a national disgrace. Americans would have been shamed to have failed the people of Bonsia so badly.

Yet the American bitter-enders, Goldberg, Limbaugh and Hannity, see no problem with Americans dying in the streets in an American city.

This is a national disgrace, a failure of imagination and leadership as bad as Bull Run. The weakness of Bush and his insanely incompetent leadership is murdering people as slowly and cruelly as the Serbs did. The anguish of the people is painful to watch.

Air drops, Special Forces teams, SEALs with their water craft, the expensive panoply of men we train to a razor's edge, who can save lives as well as take them. If this was Darfur, they would be on the ground, setting up resources, establishing security, preparing for the arrival of infantry units to protect the refugees. Instead, FEMA says help is coming, while people exist without water and food in broiling heat. The imagination which led to the dropping of humanitarian food packages over Afghanistan in yellow packages is missing here.

They bring in the pararescuemen, but a small team, not pulling every available PJ, CCT member and Special Forces team they can grab to begin the process of security. The National Guard wants to handle it. They can't. If they could, people would be getting help. The hospitals would be getting help. Instead, they wait and lie vunberable to the gangs which have always lived in the city.

Bush is hardly alone. The mayor is doing his best, but still failing.

There is a lack of urgency we noted on the blogs days ago. Someone posted questioning my statement that the military is frighteningly uninvolved and tonight, Ted Koppel asked why the 82nd ABN wasn't securing the city. Michael Brown, who's name will go down in history with Ambrose Burnside as a touchstone of American incompetence, muttered some answer about the Guard.

Well, they normally send the Marines and 82nd ABN in to secure a disaster zone before bringing in relief.

But not in New Orleans.

They brought in the 82nd after Andrew

But not in New Orleans.

The cops are quitting and given the corrupt nature of the agency, I wouldn't be shocked to see them stealing on their own.

In short, the US has basically violated most of the rules they use overseas, in the greatest humanitarian crisis in US history.

Instead of dropping supplies by air, sending in armed teams for security, in short, being imaginative, they are letting people die because there is no leadership.

Now, days after the disaster has killed people, the ready brigade of the 82nd is being sent to New Orleans. The 82nd doesn't deploy as a division. One is overseas, one trains
and the third is the ready brigade.

The 82nd Airborne Division is undisputedly, the largest parachute force in the world, noted for their swiftness to literally jump into action. The Division has one battalion permanently on 18 hours standby, ready to be deployed anywhere in the world. And if necessary, the rest of the division's Ready Brigade will join them within a day. As the only air assault division in the world, the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) has unique intelligence needs that pose several challenges to the Intelligence battlefield functional area. Like the sister division, the 82d Airborne Division, the mission of the 101st requires that a Division Ready Brigade be "wheels up" for deployment anywhere in the world within 18 hours.

Rapid deployment is the foundation for a ready 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry. Ninety-six hours after notification, the division is expected to deploy by air, sea and land, worldwide. In order to ensure readiness for rapid deployment, the division designates subordinate units that will deploy first. At any given time, one of the division's two infantry brigades is designated as the First Infantry Brigade to Deploy (FIBTD), with one battalion task force within the brigade designated first to deploy. The deployment readiness of the brigade centers on the philosophy that it will deploy with the personnel and equipment on-hand at the time of notification.

The 10th Mountain Division can deploy within 96 hours, and the 4th Brigade of 10thMD is stationed at Ft. Polk, Louisiana

These soldiers could have been providing security and performing rescues while the Guard arrived. These units are designed for rapid deployment, as are the Marines. Yet, they are only now being considered. The 101st helos would have been invaluable, as their infantry would have been.

Professional soldiers, trained infantry, can stop looters cold. You see a paratrooper or a Light Infantryman with an M249, you are gonna think hard before fucking with him. Their physical presence provides security and can allow other forces to do their jobs. You fuck with the Guard, you know the 82nd is coming and they do not play. And given the war on terror, these men are combat trained.

And that will save lives and prevent crime.

But no one thought of that in New Orleans. Until days too late.

posted by Steve @ 1:40:00 AM

1:40:00 AM

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