(Lt. Col. David) Labouchere of Mesopotamia
As part of his “Axe in Iraq” series, David Axe discusses Britain’s commander of its Royal Hussars battlegroup in southern Iraq, who has significantly rethought his group’s strategy and tactics, turning his soldiers in something of a Bedouin force. While it seems like a step off of DID’s normal procurement beat, note Labouchere’s reaction to new technologies like the much-lauded RQ-11 Raven mini-UAV, his approach, and the flip side in his tactical concerns.
In a war, procurement decisions ultimately feed back to and from the front lines. David’s experience with Labouchere in Iraq and conclusions from the front lines are arguable and stem from his personal views, as all such observations must. Having said that, they’re worth looking at, discussing, and thinking about… because this counter-cultural approach could herald procurement trends you’ll want to know about and understand: DefenseTech summary & discussions | full Defense Technology International article: “Unconventional Warfare” [NextBook/Flash format].
“Labouchere relies on speed and agility. He travels light in just a dozen vehicles per squadron, mostly trucks and speedy Land Rovers but including a handful of Scimitar light tanks armed with 30-millimeter cannons. At night he bivouacs in depressions or nestled between hills to shield him from prying eyes. By day he sorties to patrol the border, show the flag in remote towns and hold court with Iraqi cops, local army troops and the tribal leaders who are his eyes and ears and his allies in the fight against smugglers and foreign fighters. He and his troops shit in ditches, shave with bottled water and eat foil-packed rations. They sleep under the stars on collapsing cots. They live simply and waste little, all in an effort to stay light and to ween themselves from slow, vulnerable ground convoys. Most resupply is by air…”