Training For War

Training For War
June 30th, 2008  
Team Infidel

Topic: Training For War

Training For War
June 29, 2008 CBS Evening News, 6:30 PM
RUSS MITCHELL: Every U.S. soldier heading off to war in Afghanistan and Iraq is now being given ultra-realistic lessons in how to fight, lessons once reserved for the military’s elite Special Forces units.
Kimberly Dozier has more.
KIMBERLY DOZIER: It’s a simulated mortar attack on what looks like an Iraqi village. It looks real, sounds real, and smells real. In some cases, lifelike enough to make you feel sick. And that’s the point. These searing images meant to teach new recruits how to do their job under fire; and for the combat veterans, helping them kick the old instincts into gear.
We’re at the Army’s National Training Center in the Mojave Desert and this is the final exam before deploying to Iraq. They’ve made this as real as possible. Some of the casualties are actually real amputees who have fake limbs lying next to them. Like the war in Iraq, this training center has evolved. Hollywood set designers recreating whole towns right down to the livestock.
LTC. ADRIAN BOGART III [U.S. Army]: And we had mortar attacks last night.
DOZIER: Col. Adrian Bogart commanded Special Forces in Afghanistan and regular troops in Iraq, part of a new vanguard, teaching some of the Army’s most advanced combat skills to everyone in uniform.
BOGART: Keep an eye out, look inside the windows, look inside the doorway.
DOZIER: How to kill or capture carefully. Hit a woman or child and you alienate the whole town and the enemy hiding among them knows that. Each soldier becomes an ambassador, learning to treat Iraqis with respect.
BOGART: They understand the technique of not crashing into someone’s house, not embarrassing the owner of the house, dragging them out in the street and handcuffing them.
DOZIER: These veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan say they fight differently now.
In 2003-2004, you all would bust down doors and throw people on the floor. Are you still doing that?
TRAINEE I [U.S. Army]: No.
DOZIER: What do you do now?
TRAINEE I: We go in a little more friendly and talk with the people in the town.
TRAINEE II [U.S. Army]: We’re not at war right now, but we’re trying to keep peace.
DOZIER: They’re even careful with those caught red-handed and they painstakingly gather evidence. Another hard lesson learned after many suspects were later freed by Iraqi courts for lack of proof.
For Col. Bogart, the most important lesson soldiers can learn: how they do their job can turn an adversary into an ally.
BOGART: This war is not measured by how many battles you fight, it’s how many battles you avoid.
DOZIER: Because each person they have to shoot is a life and an opportunity lost. And the next time they do this, it’s for real.
Kimberly Dozier, CBS News, Fort Irwin, California.

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