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UK officer slams US Iraq tactics
Date: Thursday, January 12 2006

UK officer slams US Iraq tactics
By Matthew Davis
BBC News, Washington

A senior British Army officer has sparked indignation in the US with a scathing article criticising the US Army's performance in Iraq.

Brigadier Nigel Aylwin-Foster said US tactics early in the occupation had alienated Iraqis and exacerbated problems for the coalition.

Officers displayed cultural ignorance, self-righteousness, over-optimism and unproductive management, he said.

The article, in Military Review, has drawn US criticism but also approval.

'Stiflingly hierarchical'

In it Brig Aylwin-Foster says American officers displayed such cultural insensitivities that it "arguably amounted to institutional racism" and may have helped spur the insurgency.

While the army is "indisputably the master of conventional war fighting, it is notably less proficient in... what the US defence community often calls Operations Other Than War," the officer wrote.

Operations to win the peace in Iraq were "weighed down by bureaucracy, a stiflingly hierarchical outlook, predisposition to offensive operations and a sense that duty required all issues to be confronted head on", he added.

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Published: 2006/01/11 20:59:02 GMT

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