I grew up in a society that had not yet accepted Darwin's theory of evolution as 'fact'. Since those early years of my education we have watched as our society has redefined what our Founding Fathers 'knew' to be true as the quaint meanderings of the feeble mind. The six day creation story succinctly detailed in the early pages of Genesis have been discarded as folly and in it's place, a mega-billion year old Universe with a many times billion year old earth; this not based on anything observable but rather on tests geared toward determining the decay of carbon etc.
As time marches on; most of what was believed is trampled under-foot, not because of any new 'revelation' but just because it isn't convenient anymore. After all everything is said to evolve. The problem is, there is absolutely no evidence of that in the world around us. The very scientists that have been quick to tell us we all evolved from some lower form of life (arguably to something better), and that everything is evolving tell us that the sun is somewhere near it's half life. Scientists also tell us that our DNA is in a continual state of corruption as well. A curious thing to happen to something that is supposed to be 'evolving'.
This argument can go on for ages because the truth is, it takes a fair amount of faith to accept either proposal; One from God, the other from Science.
The one thing that is observable, however, is the state of society and the decisions that it makes, over time. One thing always seems to lead to another and it almost never seems to end well.
In the last several days, there have been notes flying across the net concerning weapons condition status while on duty, in Afghanistan. Discussions of 'condition' and how it reflects on weapons carry abound. There isn't any way of knowing at this point in time, how pervasive the practice of carrying weapons in condition 3 is right now. My absolute prayer is that it is anomalous. But just in case it is happening with any degree of frequency, I feel obligated to give you a little lesson about weapons condition, threat perception and training. As Follows:
This is for the physical 'carry' condition of the M16 A4, M4, rifles/carbines:
Condition 1 - Weapon is carried with magazine in the magazine well, a round in the chamber, action closed, weapon on safe.
Condition 2 - (does not apply to rifles)
Condition 3 - Weapon is carried with a magazine in place, empty chamber, action closed, weapon on safe.
Condition 4 - Weapon is carried, magazine removed, empty chamber, action closed, weapon on safe.
For those who aren't familiar with any of this, you need to understand that the 'weapon condition' defines the readiness of the weapon, not the element of danger in the area of operation. However; the perceived danger on the ground helps Commanders determine the weapon condition. As a point of reference; when I was stationed at Quantico (quite a number of years ago), the interior guard carried weapons in condition 1 or 3 as determined by the facility we were guarding - on a US base, on US soil. So if Marines while on patrol 'outside the wire', are being required to carry weapons in any condition other than 'condition 1', the suggestion is that the threat level or condition of perceived threat, is low to non-existent........Does anyone want to suggest that a safe, low threat or non-existent threat to the safety and well-being of our troops exists - ANYWHERE in the Middle East, much less Afghanistan?
Let's remember one other thing while we're at this; these men and women that have been trained on the various military installations and in all of the intense schools related to warfare around this country today are without a shred of doubt, the finest war fighters this country or the world has ever seen! They are meeting an asymmetrical threat (the armies of Islam) in various cultures, under the most stringent guidelines ever girded to a warrior. They are being led by an upper echelon, doing the bidding of a Sec Def, an administration and a President, that are clearly playing in the wrong league while indirectly delivering hell-fire on our own men and our Warriors, are performing superbly in spite of it.
Before they go out on Patrol, our Marines and Soldiers run through a series of steps referred to as the Troop Leading Steps, which uses the acronym BAMCIS as a memory aid:
· Begin the Planning
· Arrange for Reconnaissance and Coordination
· Make the Reconnaissance
· Complete the Plan
· Issue the Order
The overall 'outline', in short firm, is some 14 pages in length. Don't think this is cumbersome; it becomes a matter of routine and each Squad Leader and Fire Team Leader - at a minimum carries a book full of order formats and forms to aid him as he prepares his Squad/Fire Team for each mission. It is worth a stop by the Marine Corps Institute Web Page and this PDF file to get an idea of the level of complexity these young men and women are required to know and use, proficiently before and during every mission; it is impressive. It is also important to know that there is intentional redundancy with layers of inspections imbedded in this format that cover, among other things, equipment, navigational aids, map overlays, briefings with local intelligence and operations, communication checks, food, first aid, ammunition, selection of primary and alternate routes, points of entry and egress, pre-designated target points, special equipment and yes, weapons preparedness and condition all prior to 'stepping off', outside the wire.
So given all of this expertise gained from the money and hours spent in training, how is it that there could be even one patrol sent out into 'Indian Country', outside the wire with weapons on anything less than condition 1? I can tell you in a heartbeat; because somebody from this side of the big pond, from some air-conditioned office has predetermined that the Islamic peoples of Afghanistan are largely friendly, without ideological malice, void of deceit or potential collusion with the Taliban while also having determined that the indigenous force is 'largely competent'. And because this is their vision, from their air conditioned offices, paid for by the Mothers and Fathers of the young men and women serving in the God-forsaken land known as Afghanistan; they feel 'comfortable' letting those children of America walk into a desperately dangerous land with weapons set at less than condition 1.
So tell me, American citizen, Electorate, Voter, Tax payer, Father, Mother, Neighbor, Left-Wing Ideologue, Right Wing Conservative, Christian, School Teacher, Policeman, Fireman, Congressman, Senator; what are you going to do about this? You need a hint as to whether or not what I just told you is good or bad? It's bad and it's bad because I tell ya it's bad. Anyone sending our Warriors outside the wire with weapons on anything but condition 1 is guilty of dereliction of duty. In my estimation, they are guilty of the murder of every Marine, Soldier, Airman, Sailor or Coastguardsman that is killed with a weapon in less than condition 1 status.
Now get out there and let's vote these boneheads out of office before they get any more of our guys murdered.