Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I understand where you are coming from on the issue of treatment and living condition disparities. I know that the issue of body armor(as a basic supply) dates  back to the beginning of the war.  I was involved in a (non-military) security assistance program in 2003-04 that included supplying body armor. Body armor was extremely difficult to buy in quantity and we eventually had to settle for second best (but adequate) because the state of the art was unavailable with all that was being produced being delivered to DoD.

I think the war (which, by the way, I don't believe should have been started) is being fought on a shoe-string budget (as expensive as it is) and that's not the fault  of the officer corps in Iraq, but the administration.  My experience in Vietnam is quite the opposite of what your book source says happens in Iraq.  I had Marine friends at the platoon (Lt) and company level (Capt) and I know they slugged it out with the troops in the bush.  On the base where I lived in relative comfort and security, officers and enlisted lived separately, but the only officers I know of that had air conditioning and superior quarters were pilots - and of course they were combat fighters.  My officers quarters were actually worse than those of the enlisted men in our unit.  They had AC and concrete.  I lived in a stick hut and couldn't spend time there most of the year during the day due to the heat. I would never have thought of complaining though, because I was taught to take care of the "men" first, and I still believe this is a cardinal rule of military leadership that goes back centuries.  I also regularly visited army compounded units out in the countryside where everyone lived the same and the officers (up to major) fought like everyone else.

My point is that if it's that radically different in Iraq things have changed drastically, but I just don't see all the officers lazing around looking for publicity shots because they have all become "managerial class" Republicans.  I can see someone claiming this is the case from time to time.  I recall some enlisted men who disliked officers intently and were inclined to exaggerate.  By the way, I served as both enlisted and officer during my military time, and have do not lack respect for either calling.  There are good and bad everywhere.

  Maybe I just need to read Mr. Crawford's book -  I have an open mind on the matter but need to be convinced given my experience.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears

by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Fri Jun 29th, 2007 at 08:47:07 PM EST
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