their cultural insensitivity, almost certainly inadvertent, arguably amounted to institutional racismbut goes beyond social critique to question their basic competence:
US military commanders have failed to train and educate their soldiers in the art of counter-insurgency operations and the need to cultivate the "hearts and minds" of the local population.In part, this stems from a simplistic and ultra-aggressive focus:
a singular focus on conventional warfare, of a particularly swift and violent kindand their habit of responding to insurgent tactics like a wounded, stupid, bull:
What he calls a sense of "moral righteousness" contributed to the US response to the killing of four American contractors in Falluja in the spring of 2004. As a "come-on" tactic by insurgents, designed to provoke a disproportionate response, it succeeded, says the brigadier, as US commanders were "set on the total destruction of the enemy".The batwings hate Vietnam comparisons, but then the same mistakes are repeated, again and again.