|During my 8 years in the forces between 96 and 04, the general opinion of the US armed forces (that I heard) was:
Damn good equipment.
Bloody good people.
Doctrine too reliant on numbers, kit and firepower.
Very little sustained combat experience.
Those last two points were what made the Brit armed forces superior assuming numbers were the same.
An example was given by a Royal Marine Captain (he'd worked his way up from Rifleman to Sergeant before becoming commisioned as a pilot) friend of mine who had observed foot patrols in the mountains of Bosnia with both doctrines. US troops patrolled with heavy body armour but couldn't carry enough food therefore relied on logistics carried to them daily by humvee which often couldn't get through. Meanwhile the plucky Brits and Europeans were not encumbered so and could carry supplies without being tied to the roads.
Another example was the failure to win over the hearts and minds of locals during peace keeping by walking around in sunglasses, helmets and body armour with weapons at the ready. This aspect (it was argued) had only one level of escalation of an incident. ie, if you don't do what I say, I shoot.
The plucky Brit way of doing it would be to have the weapon carried on its sling, meaning escalation would have more stages. Hand on weapon, raising weapon, ing weapon then shoot. Thus giving the cause of escalation more chances to calm down.
I have heard other examples over the years. Afterall the UK forces had been in action in NI for decades and also had the FI under their belts not so long ago.
Reading some posts which go back to pre 2005, many Brit posters have the opinion of Brit methods being honed with years of experience being more effective than our US counterparts.
I have two questions. The first is to the Brits who are so fond of proclaiming the UK Armed forces to be better than everyone elses.
Knowing the UK did not cover itself in glory in Basra while the US achieved good results in Bagdad and knowing that the US and UK troops have been fighting side by side in Afganistan for 4 years, has the US finally proved themselves in this kind of combat? If so, can knock this yank bashing on the head?
My questions to the more respected posters who know and respect each others armed forces are:
Has the British army learned anything from the US Army through Iraq and Afganistan? Has the US Army learned anything from the Brits in the same period? Has the two armies doctrine's become more similar?