Infantry: April 2, 2003


Training makes a big difference and the war in Iraq provides many examples. For example, in its first week in action, the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division had only one soldier killed in action with the enemy. This was a tank crewman shot in the neck by an Iraqi sniper. Iraqis are not noted for their marksmanship. And this particular Iraqi sniper apparently got lucky, because his position was quickly discovered and he was killed. Numerous other incidents demonstrated a dismal degree of weapon's training and tactical skill by the Iraqis. Nearly all the Iraqi "irregulars" had at least two years of military training. But judging from the condition of their weapons and fighting positions, this training did not emphasize keeping weapons clean or details on how to properly prepare and use fighting positions (foxholes, trenches or inside buildings.) Given any kind of choice, Iraqi regular army troops will not fight American units at all. It has taken threats against their families to motivate Iraqi soldiers to make suicidal attacks on the American convoys. By the tenth day of the war, most of the convoys were not being fired on at all. 


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