With Tony Abbott’s relaxed and laid back “sh*t happens” reassurance to Colonel Jim Creighton (US sector commander directing military operations in which Australian troops were deployed) making the news recently, one has to wonder if the explanation he so easily accepted that fire support of Australian troops was “more than adequate” should have been explored further.
Given that the American penchant for fudging facts has apparently survived intact beyond the Viet Nam debacle (a war which blundered on from the early 1960s to 1975) and now allegedly rears its head again in Afghanistan in this decade.
The US Center for Public Integrity on 6 February 2011 stated that an investigation found that Civil Affairs reservists tasked with winning the hearts and minds of locals have died disproportionately in Afghanistan and Iraq. The statistics offer a grim picture. Though these soldiers only make up about 5 percent of the Army’s reserve forces, they account for 23 percent of the combat fatalities among reservists in Iraq and Afghanistan. We also found that generals in the field, unable to obtain sufficient Civil Affairs units, sent reservists into harm’s way without hardened vehicles, protective plates for their armored vests, and machine guns. Further, the Army inflated the number of active-duty Civil Affairs soldiers to give Congress the appearance of a fully-staffed division.