The newsletter “Nightmare on Wazir Street” describes four combat nightmares for those who are going to be actively involved in destroying and deploying the US enemies. Avoid the obvious, set the conditions, don’t make fatal assumptions, and use all the advantages to destroy enemies are the key guidelines of the newsletter. The soldiers were sent to Iraq, where they saw Baghdad hot and terribly crowded. A mess of houses, people and goods was seen everywhere. Iraqis were aware of the constant possibility to meet violent death, but they continued doing their businesses and going wherever they had to.
Traffic laws seemed neglected or ignored and, thus, the traffic was congested. Wazir Street was described as “pretty much indistinguishable from any other street except for the huge green domed mosque on the southern edge of the market area”. (p. 1) All the nightmares occurred in the same place and with the same characters. The first nightmare “Avoid the Obvious” provides four recommendations how to destroy enemies with no showed skills. In other words, the author calls for being attentive and not doing obvious things when fighting enemies.
Firstly, open route for attack doesn’t mean that you can easily attack as the enemy is thinking of attacking and killing you as well. Secondly, all the ways to escape should be blocked for enemies meaning you should isolate the objective. Thirdly, you should make the enemy react because it will give you an opportunity to make him pay for his actions. The author writes, “I had only provided the enemy the problem, which he readily solved”. (p. 9) It means that a soldier is required to create a situation, in which all the outcomes are equally bad for the enemy.
Finally, leading is very important for successful outcome because leading suggests controlling your men and guiding their efforts in necessary direction. Controlling yourself will result in better controlled soldiers. The author explains that “my anger and desire to kill the enemy who had killed my soldier got more of us killed”. (p. 9) The second nightmare “Set the Conditions” describes the situation occurred when Madden was waving to narrator. All the gates on the Wazir Street were closed except the one, and the narrator found it strange.
He argued that only a foul would enter them. After the satiation was resolved, the author drew several hard lessons from it. For example, he says that enemies might be aware of using the ladders to climb the walls. Further, getting ready to fight is important because it sets the overall direction of the future combat. You should not leap into enemy’s kill zone as it will be difficult to suppress him. Thus, war can’t be viewed as timed event. Finally, the narrator recommends remembering “that you will react the way you trained to react”.
(p. 14) The third nightmare “Don’t Make Fatal Assumption” continues drawing hard lessons from conflicting situations. The narrator stresses that suppressive fire works, and the chances not to be killed significantly increase. He continues that “unless the enemy is forced to have his head down or distracted, he can still shoot”. (p. 18) Further, you should always keep in mind that enemy may have depth to his defense. If you are trained to do something, it doesn’t mean you should always do that.
The fourth nightmare “War is Not Fair: Use All the Advantages Available to Kill the Enemy” provides final hard lessons. The enemies are provided with the options to surrender, to escape and to fight. The narrator concludes that war should not be viewed as a sport. Instead, it is a team effort. Moreover, war is unfair meaning that you should use all the available advantages not to be killed. The most important recommendation is to grasp the initiative, to grasp what the enemies are very likely to do. The narrator concludes that the enemy is trained to study you, as well as you are trained to study him.
Courtney from Study Moose
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