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Arrogance Vs. Simple Counter-Measures
by John Moore

If you follow international news, especially interviews with average men and women in third- world countries, you will frequently hear these folks refer to Americans as "arrogant". In the absence of any definition of what "arrogance" means to the interviewees, one may be left wondering just what in the world are these people talking about.

This article will address one small aspect of this. Written from the prospective of past and current military technology, I will educate and inform just why many people feel Americans are "arrogant".

We Americans as a nation and as a culture, tend to put great stock in our superior technology and our ability to put thus technology on the battlefield. Further, we have great confidence ( read as arrogance) in the wherewithal of our superior technology to defeat both sophisticated foes ( like Russia) or semi-literate peasants in the jungles of Vietnam.

Lyndon Johnson had Robert McNamara serving as his Secretary of Defense. Mr. McNamara (widely believed to have a genius-level I.Q.) spoke frequently of his "Electronic Battlefield" as a way to defeat the North Vietnamese efforts to infiltrate men and supplies to the Republic of South Vietnam.

In the 1960's, electronics was still all analog technology. Engineers were tasked to develop devices that:

1.) Could sense (detect) human urine
2.) Could sense (detect human footsteps

The devices had to:

1.) Look like a green, living plant
2.) Survive being dropped from aircraft
3.) Stick in the ground
4.) Transmit their information via radio back to the receiver.

I don't know how much Research and Development money was spent to design, engineer, develop, test and manufacture these devices. However, one would be foolish to believe less than millions of dollars were spent.

Our enemy
In Southeast Asia in the 1960's, there was very little in the way of manufacturing going on. One of the ways you tell if any given country is third world is the absence of manufacturing. It is, however, folly to believe that a lack of sophisticated manufacturing translates into a lack of inventiveness, cleverness or intelligence.

The North Vietnamese Army General Staff quickly learned they had a problem: their secret convoys through the jungles were being wiped out. Once they discovered the sensing devices, they needed quick, cheap, counter-measures.

To counter the sensors that detect human urine, they commenced hanging buckets of human urine along the trails.

To counter the sensors that detect human footsteps, they commenced walking with water buffalo.

Imagine the satisfaction of the North Vietnamese Army General Staff to know that United States Air Force bombers, piloted by college graduates, responding to signals from a multi--million dollar electronic military technology program were bombing buckets of urine in the jungle placed in the trees by peasant soldiers from the army of a third-world country. And not bombing the real convoys as they safely walked through the jungles with their water-buffalo. (The above is documented in The Electronic Battlefield, by Paul Dickson.)

Fast forward 40 years:

Our convoys in Iraq are routinely attacked by an enemy that lacks our level of training, equipment, command and control, etc. What's the dollar value of an armored Humvee? $150,000. As it turns out, our enemy can (and does) upgrade their landmines to meet and defeat our vehicle armor upgrades cheaply and effectively.

There is nothing new about the enemies of America planting landmines in roads our vehicles will drive over. In Vietnam, we mostly drove around in unarmored trucks that had changed little since WWII. We placed sandbags on the floorboards and sat on flak-jackets.

In the last 30 days (today being 5/2/07) several factories have been found in Iraq (City of Diwaniya) that were manufacturing Explosively Formed Projectiles (EFPs). Once again (as in Vietnam) we have enemies in a third-world country cleverly and cheaply devising counter-measures to meet and defeat the U.S. military. EFPs defeat the Humvee's armor, wounding and killing the Americans inside. The EFPs cost a few dollars each, with the cost being borne by entities that have very deep pockets.

Clearly, there is a level of sophistication in the EFPs that not only defeats the armor but also defeats the U.S. Army's electronic sensing devices, purposely built to locate or prematurely explode these devices harmlessly.

There's another deeper, darker aspect to all of this. According to my friend J.R. Nyquist (WWW.JRNYQUIST.COM). Al-Quieda is a front for the KGB (now known as the FSB), receiving money, training, technology and equipment from them.

So, are Americans "arrogant"? In the eyes of much of the world, we are.

I recall that a few thousand farmers living in a country with virtually no manufacturing capability went to war against the world's largest, best equipped, best trained army and defeated them. That war commenced April 19, 1775 on Lexington Green. In 1775, American farmers hid behind trees and fired at the invading foreign army on the road.

In 2007, Iraqi farmers (mostly young men out-of-work since we invaded their country and destroyed their economy) hide behind trees and fire off land mines at the invading foreign army on the road.

Stay tuned, there will be more on this and related topics.

John Moore
Listen to John live on WWW.RepublicBroadcasting.Org Sunday afternoons 4 to 6 P.M Central time.

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