NPR: U.S. Military Hunts for Soldiers and Abductors
Andrea Seabrook interviewed retired Army General Robert Scales earlier this week. While I am always cautious about NPR coverage of the war, Seabrook's disdainful questioning, her lack of compassion for the missing troops, and her general ambivalence about the merits of searching for them shocked me, and further dimished my low expectations.
I asked retired General Scales about the tactics, and the justification, for conducting such a wide scale search for three men.
Scales [too politely, if you ask me]:
There's a creed going back to the days of Vietnam saying that soldiers don't leave their buddies behind. It's part of our ethos, it's what soldiers do. But the nightmare is to have a soldier captured and hauled off by the enemy. And this of course excites emotion in army units to an exceptional degree. The fact that troops in the area have literally stood down and moved out to scour the area looking for these soldiers is the type of thing soldiers do.
In other words, put the war on hold.
Seabrook later on:
We don't know yet if there's been any kind of success, or what the measure of that might be at this point... at what point do they stop searching for the soldiers?
This is on her mind... when can we end the search?
... it's a very very difficult place to search through... this is an extremely difficult place to find anybody.
So at what point do they stop? At what point does the missions searching for these soldiers endanger as many troops as they're looking for, or more?
Again, no regard for the missing troops, being held by the enemy in an unknown location, under unknown circumstances.
If the soldiers aren't found within the next few days, the effort to isolate this area and find the American soldiers would taper off, but I can't imagine it will ever end. I'm quite sure the division commander of the 10th mt div is going to dedicate resources to finding these soldiers for as long as it takes.
[A very audible] Hmmph
This interview truly left me disgusted.