Sunday, December 26, 2010

Just not getting that 1337 vibe, man...

Apparently Yemen is trying to stand up some elite counterterror units to go after the Al Qa'eda tangos that infest the back country.

The linked article shows a Yemeni troop riding in the back of a DShK-equipped pickup, looking like an extra from Black Hawk Down, and I'm just not getting that whole elite vibe, man. Has there been an Arab army worthy of that designation since... well, the fall of the Umayyid Caliphate? And don't give me Saladin, he was a Kurd.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

What about Jordan?

10th Group spent a lot of time with them and the King dropped .5 billion on that training center for their special forces just a couple of years ago.

Anonymous said...

Jordan has an advantage. The King is a Gunsite graduate.

Remember, they don't have to be as good as us, just better than the bad guys.

Old NFO said...

Anything would be a help over there... at least 'somebody' is trying, at least until the bribes from the bad guys start...

Joseph said...

It's why the Arab armies rarely do anything but maintain status quo. Because of tribal affiliations/politics, they have a really hard time coordinating. They don't really have to be good, they know the one real army in the Mideast, Israel's, isn't going to try and conquer any of them.

Shermlock Shomes said...

Indeed, the Umayyids knew how to do it, e.g. Muhammad bin Qasim. A teenager!

Anonymous said...

"Has there been an Arab army worthy of that designation since.."

Why Arabs lose wars explains some of why the Arab armys have problems meeting our levels of military confidence.
Tom O'B

theirritablearchitect said...

What's with the decidedly anti-camo camo, anyway?

Sheesh, can you get more contrast than yellow on black?

Matt G said...

Irritable-- contrast isn't bad, so long as the shapes are broken. Look at it from 300 yards away against their local hillsides, and it might be difficult to draw a bead on.

If the locals refer to your armed strike vehicles as "technicals," then you might not be a 'L33t outfit.

Graybeard said...

"Has there been an Arab army worthy of that designation..." - has there been an Arab anything worthy of the term elite since Islam took over? Library? University? Medical school? Hospital? Remember when the last King Hussein of Jordan got cancer, he came to the US? (Mayo Clinic, IIRC)

Sigivald said...

Gray: Yeah, actually. They had some pretty awesome libraries and whatnot in Spain, for instance.

Islam's anti-intellectual bias is pretty recent, historically.

I'm not a multi-culti "Islam is just awesome in every way!" peddler, but they really did have a tradition of learning and science for quite some time.

And then, of course, it all got thrown out the window.

(An', of course, the idea of a modern hospital or medical school is so modern that it essentially came after the rejection of modernity by Islamists, so they never really had a chance...)

D.W. Drang said...

I'll support the suggestion that Jordan is pretty squared away. IIRC, the current king was on a HALO jump at the JFKUWC&S when he got the call that he was about to inherit the crown.

Cybrludite said...

I've seen the local Bubbas going hunting in a truck painted like that. Lacked the DHSk, though.

Bram said...

"If God Wills It" seems to be the operating principle in all things Arab. Why assume a good prone position, get a sight picture, site alignment and smooth trigger pull? If God wills it, the target will get hit. If not, oh well. Hardly the attitude of a SEAL, Ranger, or Recon Marine.

I’ve seen that fatalism in action. It’s an excuse for indifference, laziness, ignorance, and crazy risks. Mediocrity and fail are the only possible results.

On the other hand, Arabs have made excellent raiders throughout history. Hit fast, kill, rape, loot, then run like hell – if necessary, fade back into the general population. We call it terrorism now.

beaumont said...

"Rifles for sale, cheap. Never used except for 'happy fire'. Only dropped once. Call Ali in Saana, Yemen 54-6325."

AM said...

There are a few in Iraq that have been paying attention, and the Kuwaiti Army is ok but small.

But the Kurds... Evenly armed against anyone but Israel in the middle east my money is on the Kurds.

George said...

Robert Kaplan, in his book, Imperial Grunts, talked about Yemen back in 2003, I think. Looks like not a lot has been done since then ... and I'd put the responsibility for that on the locals.

If your locals have no true worth, respect, control or honour, it's really too hard to allow foreigners to do your job for you. SF troops have been there, could have done that, etc., etc. Petty despots can't permit that.

Regards.

Don Meaker said...

Saudi Arabia had a tank regiment in the 1973 war, and were located in a corner of Jordan close to Israel and Syria. The Israelis tried to take a short cut through Jordan to cut behind the Syrians. Were. Stopped. Cold.

Counts for "leet" in my short book.