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2010-08-09 Afghanistan
U.S. Special Forces ordered to shave off beards, some against command because it helps relations
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Posted by tipper 2010-08-09 01:50|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [446 views ]  Top

#1 Who cares if we win the war, as long as our boys look snappy?
Posted by gromky 2010-08-09 02:18||   2010-08-09 02:18|| Front Page Top

#2 Are they trying to morph this into Vietnam to suit their narrative?

This just seems so McNamara-esque.
Posted by no mo uro 2010-08-09 04:02||   2010-08-09 04:02|| Front Page Top

#3 Who ever did this needs to CM'd yesterday, cashiered and retired to make room for those focused on victory. You think the Army at Trenton or Gettysburg looked clean shaven, how about the 101st at Bastogne? This is pure militarism over military. A unit prepared to parade is unprepared to fight, a unit prepared to fight is unprepared to parade. There are plenty of palace guards across the globe that are worthless in a real fight, but they certainly as hell are "professional-looking".
Posted by Procopius2k 2010-08-09 07:05||   2010-08-09 07:05|| Front Page Top

#4 I was wondering how this author, James Gordon MEEK, understands the Afghan people to be "a populace weary of war and death".
The last I was told the Afghanis lived and breathed war on a similar level to that of a New York media hick living for Starbucks and Sex in the City.
Posted by Bacon in the Mosque horror 2010-08-09 07:47||   2010-08-09 07:47|| Front Page Top

#5 I suspect that the military command has been ordered to do this prior to pulling most SOF out of the country. It is plainly obvious that NATO is just treading water, with no real strategy, in a situation of growing expense and slow attrition.

UCW has failed because the real action is in Pakistan. Afghanistan is just shadow boxing next door to the real war, handling its overflow.

We should have built a new government for Afghanistan from the start, but we didn't, because of some stupid ass cultural sensitivity. So now we have to pay the price.

Because of all of this crap, when we go back, and we will have to go back, it will have to be against Pakistan, and with bombers.
Posted by  Anonymoose 2010-08-09 08:23||   2010-08-09 08:23|| Front Page Top

New York Daily News... Salt to taste.
Posted by Parabellum 2010-08-09 09:07||  2010-08-09 09:07|| Front Page Top

#7 U.S. Special Forces ordered to shave off beards, some against command because it helps relations

Hopefully this story is crap. If not, it's clueless. Can't command find something to do better than to issue these kinds of orders? Maybe they could fix the ROEs instead. Mulims like beards. Leave them alone.
Posted by gorb 2010-08-09 11:39||   2010-08-09 11:39|| Front Page Top

#8 I have few doubts in believing this story, because it always happens in the US military. Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Eventually the REMFs put their foot down and demand that combat troops keep their uniforms prettier, shave daily (especially during water shortages), properly and frequently salute REMF officers, and to NOT use bad language.

Hell, even MacArthur (PBUH) decided to withhold condoms, to prevent soldiers from engaging in immoral behavior with Korean girls. This lasted for a month, until the Theater Medical Officer got the VD stats.

It is the only recorded case of a Theater Medical Officer being so enraged that he physically jumped up on MacArthur's (PBUH) desk and chewed Him out. Allegedly. Likely apocryphally. But the point was made.
Posted by  Anonymoose 2010-08-09 14:31||   2010-08-09 14:31|| Front Page Top

#9 What's next, going back to kiwi and cotton balls and getting nice shiny (easy to spot) boots?
Posted by No I am The Other Beldar 2010-08-09 14:50||   2010-08-09 14:50|| Front Page Top

#10 Reminds me of my days in SAC - never met so many folks interested in my shoe shine in my life.
Posted by mojo  2010-08-09 16:56||   2010-08-09 16:56|| Front Page Top

#11 not too mention beardless men would typically put a target on your ass in that part of the world.
Posted by chris 2010-08-09 16:59||   2010-08-09 16:59|| Front Page Top

#12 If you really need to perform a covert operation and disguise yourself as a native, what better way than to shave your beard, wear some special wrap-around sunglasses, and maybe a snappy baseball cap with "I love the U.S" on it. And a bulls-eye on your jacket. Nobody will suspect a thing.
Posted by Goober Goobelopolous 2010-08-09 17:14||   2010-08-09 17:14|| Front Page Top

#13 Beard == Cred in that part of the world. And it seems that lot of the SF folks could grow a beard that would make Paul Bunyan proud!
Posted by gorb 2010-08-09 21:02||   2010-08-09 21:02|| Front Page Top

#14 Same thing happened when FOBs went up in northern Iraq IIRC from comments at the time.
Posted by lotp 2010-08-09 21:18||   2010-08-09 21:18|| Front Page Top

#15 Hell, if winning means wearing their stupid man-dresses and growing beards - so be it. I understand the bitch about dumb baseball caps - there are plenty of turbans to put on if you really want to go native. I've been w/the grunts and the logistics groups, there's plenty of good troops and the obligatory 10% of morons in both organizations.
Posted by Broadhead6 2010-08-09 22:19||   2010-08-09 22:19|| Front Page Top

#16 This sh*t's been going on forever. When I worked for G-2 in Germany (back during the Baader-Meinhof era), some clueless upper-echelon idiot decided that our agents had to have regulation military haircuts, even though they wore civilian clothes and their job at that moment was to gather local intel about the Baader-Meinhofs and other anarchist assholes. This was during an era of longer hair on men.

So command (not our Colonel) basically fixed it so that our agents couldn't go out on the economy, blend in, and learn stuff that might save us some grief (and even some lives) - but gee whiz, they sure looked spiffy! The agents were livid, but really had no choice.

Some of the REMFs aren't even in the rear - they're just clueless, and adept at getting our people killed. I wonder if they have to go to Stupid School to get that way, or if it's a natural talent. >:-(
Posted by Barbara Skolaut 2010-08-09 22:38||   2010-08-09 22:38|| Front Page Top

#17 I wonder if they have to go to Stupid School to get that way, or if it's a natural talent.

Col. David Hackworth (pbuh) told a great story in his autobiography "About Face" that speaks directly to your question, Barbara:

"Years before...a bright, forward-thinking German general divided his officers into four classes: the clever, the stupid, the industrious and the lazy. The general believed that every officer possessed two of these qualities. The clever and lazy, for example, were suited for command (they'd figure out the easiest way to do a task); the clever and industrious were suited for high-level staff. The lazy and stupid, he maintained, were an unfortunate by-product of any system and could be slotted in somewhere; but the stupid and industrious were just too dangerous, and the general's standing order wss to have them removed from the military completely, the moment they were identified."

The stupid and industrious have been running the armed forces for a long time now - every Rantburger who's ever worn the suit probably has numerous stories about his/her favorite S&I superior.
Posted by Ricky bin Ricardo (Abu Babaloo) 2010-08-09 23:12||   2010-08-09 23:12|| Front Page Top

#18 Apparently not just the armed forces Ricky.

State, CIA, Homeland Security, etc....
Posted by CrazyFool 2010-08-09 23:52||   2010-08-09 23:52|| Front Page Top

23:52 CrazyFool
23:46 CrazyFool
23:20 3dc
23:12 Ricky bin Ricardo (Abu Babaloo)
23:05 anymouse
22:52 Barbara Skolaut
22:38 Barbara Skolaut
22:29 Asymmetrical Triangulation
22:24 Willy
22:22 Thing From Snowy Mountain
22:19 Broadhead6
22:17 Barbara Skolaut
22:16 Gabby
22:10 JosephMendiola
22:04 Goober Goobelopolous
22:02 Asymmetrical Triangulation
21:57 Goober Goobelopolous
21:55 JosephMendiola
21:53 Asymmetrical Triangulation
21:49 JosephMendiola
21:33 Besoeker
21:31 lotp
21:26 gorb
21:25 OldSpook

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