Saturday, April 17, 2010

Dear Lord

Apparently Dyncorp has been training the Afghan police, but forgot the simple basic step of teaching them how to adjust their sights...

Now I don't know about other training, but in Basic Training we spent a week just learning how to zero in a weapon. When a unit goes to the range, everyone has to zero in their weapon, EVERY TIME, before they can move on to the qualification range. Zeroing a weapon, by firing at a target, adjusting your sights, firing, adjusting... until you get it perfectly centered, is one of the absolute fundamentals of any marksmanship training. It makes me wonder if this was incompetence, laziness, or racism that was leading to this little... oversight*.

Now, there are many other issues related to the Afghan police, not just how well they can shoot. But shooting, as one of the basic and fundamental skills of the job, as well as a main symbolic identifier of the job, is essential to creating the identity of a policeman, soldier, Marine, what have you. Shoot**, in the American military, one of the things that Marines hold over soldiers (among many others), is that their basic qualification tests are harder than the Army's, this is one of the things which drives both the elitism and the esprit de corps*** of the Marines.

So will teaching the Afghan police how to shoot properly improve their overall proficiency as police? Probably not. But although it might not be sufficient, it is most definitely necessary.

*Ha! a pun, get it? (lack of) oversight... I kill myself sometimes.

** Another one!

*** I'm on a roll today...

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