21 November, 2006

Lu Meng and military order

This story is just the latest example of the failure of command in Iraq. Soldiers behave abominably when left to their own devices in times of war, it is up to their commanders to enforce military discipline so that troops and civilians alike have order and war can be carried out effectively and with the least amount of disruption to civilians. When Lu Meng attacked Guan Yu at Jingzhou, he ordered the troops not to disturb the villagers. When one of the soldiers stole a shawl from a villager, Lu Meng had him executed, after that his army did not disturb the civilians. Lu Meng kept discipline, he enforced military laws strictly and his troops behaved. The fact that such incidents occur with frequency in Iraq is a sign that the military is not enforcing order and discipline, at a time when troops need it the most. If this soldier got a severe reprimand, if rewards and penalties were made clear to the troops, such incidents would be rare, unfortunately I fear they are not. Our army needs more Lu Mengs in command of troops, more importantly it needs proper leadership and strategy from the highest levels of command.

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