Casual Fridays in Afghanistan

As the description says: “When a firefight breaks out and an outpost is under fire the choice between rounds down range or uniforms isn’t a hard choice.”

Is that a Canadian thing? Or has the U.S. military occasionally been known to slay taliban in gym shorts and flip-flops too?

Hat tip: Bryan

26 COMMENTS

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Muhr July 8, 2011 at 12:05 am

Take thee now and watch ‘Restrepo’ and then (or sooner) read Junger’s ‘War’.

No, it isn’t just the nucks.

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ENDO-Mike July 8, 2011 at 01:59 am

I’ve seen Restrepo, good movie! I don’t remember them not fighting in uniform, but i’ll take your word for it.

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Dillankid July 8, 2011 at 08:16 am

Restrepo was fantastic.

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NikonMikon July 9, 2011 at 03:57 am

http://gyazo.com/77212de7e36f5ad545b7ec381f7b77f6.png <— from restrepo I think

might be pemble-belkin in the shorts? the guy next to him is also wearing tennis shoes

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032125 July 8, 2011 at 12:05 am

Doesn’t this make them non-uniformed combatants, and therefore terrorists that the US would throw into secret prisons for years at a time without trial?

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junyo July 8, 2011 at 03:12 pm

Yes, and the terrorists are known for their strict adherence to Geneva Convention protocols when they capture a uniformed member of the armed forces.

Oh wait, they don’t. They fucking behead them on camera and post the video on the Internet. So I’m sure I should give a rat’s ass… why, exactly?

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032125 July 8, 2011 at 06:07 pm

Yes, beheading is horrid. And two wrongs make a right? We use the non-uniformed combatant shtick as an excuse to throw humans into dungeons for years without trial; yet here we have troops on camera out of uniform fighting.

Don’t misunderstand me; the Geneva convention is idiotic, arbitrary, and if nothing else 100 years out of date. I bring this up to point out the absurdity of the convention and the hypocrisy of US behavior towards insurgents. You specifically need not give a rat’s ass; I do and I will say so.

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junyo July 8, 2011 at 06:48 pm

That starts from the premise that throwing terrorists in a hole somewhere is already a wrong. And no, we use the “you’re hiding among the civilian populace to deliberately cause civilian casualties while avoiding the hazards and responsibilities of being a formal military” as an excuse to throw people in dungeons. Are you arguing, with a straight… keyboard I guess… that the reason why both people from these groups are fighting, in plain clothes or not, is the same? This whole line of reasoning that soldiers in an organized military fighting in plain clothes to secure some measure of self government to a country = loosely controlled group of murders/terrorist fighting for the restoring of a 13th century theocracy, because they also wear plain clothes, is kind of ridiculous. It’s moral relativism at it’s finest.

And worse, it’s outright dangerous because it incentivises the terrorist’s – forgive me, insurgents, wouldn’t want to offend the head choppers – barbarism; why would I behave in a civilized fashion if I can treat you however I want when I have power and you are compelled to treat me civilly regardless? Giving a rat’s ass about the sensibilities of people that don’t play by the same rules automatically puts us at a disadvantage. You chose to use terrorism as a tactic to achieve your socio-political ends, thought it would work better if you could mingle in with the people (so what if a few of them catch bullets meant for you), but it didn’t work, and instead of a caliphate and/or 72 virgins, you got a nice trip to Whogivesafuckastan and all the water you can aspirate? Ah well, decisions have consequences. Should have convinced the other guys to get cool matching outfits.

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Perturbo July 8, 2011 at 06:53 pm

There is always got to be at least one troll.

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junyo July 8, 2011 at 06:55 pm

And you’re it? Good to know.

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032125 July 8, 2011 at 07:19 pm

Junyo my argument starts from the premise that I do not like immoral behavior carried out in my name and with my money. I subscribe to the notion that rights predate governments, and as such the right to a fair trial is a human right granted to me by my creator or inherent in my nature as a rational being. Ergo, the right to a speedy trial, the presumption of innocence, burden of proof, et al, should be afforded to everyone. These are not US rights; these are human rights.

If we are going to say that anyone is going to have all of those rights ripped out from under them because they were fighting out of uniform (which is idiotic and a lame excuse for such behavior) then we should at least adhere to the standard.

The rest of your points would take pages to rebut, so I will leave it alone.

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junyo July 8, 2011 at 07:41 pm

I subscribe to the same notion. And I’d submit that the only reason for the existence of the state is for the protection of those innate rights. But a bigger question is does every government have the responsibility to actively provide those right to every person on the planet, even people who seek the destruction of that state by violence?

By your notion no government could ever fight any war. War, by it’s very nature deprives people of life, health and freedom, by and large without concern about individual innocence, or burden of proof. It’s organized murder, no matter how many rules you drape in it. And we assume that the government that we’re fighting is looking out for the welfare of it’s citizens, by treaties like the Geneva Convention, or by plain not fighting. That’s what’s flawed about your argument. Again, the people you’re talking about are not be treated differently because they’re not wearing a uniform (as you keep rather simplistically insisting). They’re being treated differently because of why they’re not wearing one and what that represents. They’re not wearing a uniform because they made a deliberate strategic decision to be outside of the law and to not have the protections of a state. As I’ve repeatedly said, I’m not seeing a compelling argument as to why the state that exists to protect me and mine should then have to protect it’s enemies from their choices, and basically make irrational behavior cost effective.

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Ranger G July 8, 2011 at 11:25 pm

You are confusing being “out of uniform” with being an irregular, non-state-sponsored combatant. There is no requirement that someone in the armed services don uniform before returning fire. Heck, I’ve seen people fight in body armor and skivvies. That does not turn a sworn member of a state-sponsored, legally defined military into a terrorist.

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032125 July 9, 2011 at 12:30 am

That’s a good point, although I don’t see how being state sponsored should offer protections that being non-state affiliated wouldn’t; after all the colonials weren’t state sponsored by any stretch. In fact, they weren’t all uniformed either, if memory serves.

I also never used the term terrorist because it’s been so linguistically inflated as to lose all meaning.

You do make a good point about temporarily fighting out of uniform for expedience vs strategically fighting out of uniform. Well done.

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NikonMikon July 9, 2011 at 04:01 am

You don’t see how that changes the situation drastically at all? Is everything surface with people like you? No doubt it is. You react before thinking and you’re far too emotive.

Take a little while and think about it you moron. You’ll figure it out if you really try hard enough… Then it’ll all make sense why a non-state-sponsored combatant or “irregular” dons no protections from any conventions on warfighting be it the Hague or Geneva.

Employ that thing between your ears for more than just reacting to every little emotional thing that you encounter.

Perturbo July 8, 2011 at 07:38 pm

Ok….I am leaving before someone starts dropping trou, it seem like some has something to prove.

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NNW July 9, 2011 at 02:13 am

No, they are wearing the same t-shirts and shorts. So they are wearing a uniform.

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James July 8, 2011 at 12:10 am

Muhr, Restrepo was a great documentary. I can highly recommend it as well. That video just reminds me once more of what our men and woman in the armed forces go through on a daily basis over in that giant shit filled sand box. Makes me respect them that much more.

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That one guy July 8, 2011 at 12:11 am

I remember people making a big deal over the M777, how only the elitest of the elite would use it. It’s being used by men in gym clothing :3

And i see a disturbing lack of swinging dong. Or is it standard military procedure to wear a jock strap? Whatever, this is less of a sight for sore eyes than it’d usually be.

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Jeff July 8, 2011 at 08:00 am

Ha, that reminds me of this picture that I saw a while back:
http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Duty-Calls-N-Texas-Soldier-Battles-in-Pink-Undies—.html

At least they’re not wearing bright red t shirts and pink undies

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Ranger G July 8, 2011 at 11:26 pm

It would be interesting to know what was down range here–given the low elevation they may have been engaging taliban with direct fire…which would suggest some fairly hairy stuff going on.

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Doug July 9, 2011 at 02:39 am

Good video, thanks for posting.

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Aldo July 9, 2011 at 02:45 pm

Nobody had time to grab a Kevlar or vest before going out into a ‘firefight’?

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FDC Chief July 9, 2011 at 04:00 pm

I am active duty artillery with the US Army, and no, it DOESN’T matter what you’re wearing when you get the call for counter-fire, or Troops-In-Contact (TIC). My old chief showed up in the FDC (fire direction center) in flip flops and a towel once so we could compute data and get the guns shooting. You do what you have to do to get steel on target for the guys that need it.

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Doc July 11, 2011 at 08:42 am

We spent many days like this while I was in the Stan. The only time we tended to throw on the pretty crisp uniforms and shave was when our Battalion level commanders would fly out. They wouldn’t risk driving the same roads we drove, as it was too dangerous, so we always had a heads up. I do remember having our platoon getting yelled at because some pilots saw our beards/mohawks from overhead. Ughhh. Winning a ‘war’ isn’t about who is prettiest.

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Ted N(not the Nuge) July 22, 2011 at 01:25 pm

Inspection ready troops don’t win battles, battle ready troops don’t win inspections. Which one is more important, the battle or the inspection? :D

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