Non Combat Troops – An Oxy Moron

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Ohg Rea Tone is all or nothing. He is educated and opinionated, more clever than smart, sarcastic and forthright. He writes intuitively - often disregarding rules of composition. Comment on his posts - he will likely respond with characteristic humor or genuine empathy. He is the real-deal.

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Non Combat Troops – An Oxy Moron

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We should take all ‘non-combat troops’ out of Iraq.  That is one of the compromises proposed as a resolution to the conflict in Iraq.  The suggestion is that American troops will not be dying in Iraq.  That sounds pretty good to most of us.  But is there such a thing as ‘non-combat troops?”

The reality of troop deployment is there are nine support people for every “combat soldier.”  This means mechanics, cooks, bottle washers, and office staff to keep track of everyone and their support equipment.  Like professional sports, people working for a football team far outnumber the players on the field.

This is not bad or wrong.  As Napoleon learned at Waterloo – if you cannot feed the troops you will not have any troops.  But the question that begs is ‘what is the purpose of a military?”  The simple answer is combat.

If we remove all combat troops from Iraq we will be left with the cooks and bottle washers to man the military base.  Sound foolish?  It is.  The idea of having non-combat troops in Iraq is just as foolish.  The rationale is one of education.  The troops will be there simply to train the Iraqis to defend themselves.  This was the premise that led to Vietnam.  We sent military advisors to the South Vietnamese Government.  When their lives were threatened by the ‘combat’ we were compelled to send in more troops to protect our military advisors. Then we sent in more troops to protect the protectors – and for every combat personell sent, nine others went along in support functions.

So here is the question, Is there such a thing as ‘non-combat troops?’

There Is 1 Response So Far. »

  1. I believe you are right. There really is no such thing. There are something like 7 support personnel for every infantryman. The Marine Corps taught us we need three things, beans, bullets and band aids. So looking at our needs here are some of the support personnel needed:

    Motor transport to haul the supplies, food, ammunition and equipment, medical equipment, and the ambulances are converted Humvees. Mechanics are needed to fix the trucks and drivers are need to drive them.

    We need berms built around the campsites, enter Bulldozers. Forklifts and container handlers are needed to unload the freight. Mechanics needed to maintain that equipment plus we need operators.

    Campsites and tents need electricity, so we need electricians and generators. Communication is needed so we need comm. techs and satellite techs.

    Need medical supplies and personnel and a chaplain.

    Pilots need other support as well, such as navigational radar, approach radar, air traffic controllers. Those support personnel need generators, gen. mechs, and electricians. The computers and equipment need to be kept super cool, so they need air conditioner techs.

    All the equipment needs fuel so we have fuel personnel.

    The list is endless.

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