Report of Investigation of the Apache/Reuters Event in 2007


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11 Responses to Report of Investigation of the Apache/Reuters Event in 2007

  1. Patrick Lang says:

    In a US Army officer’s signature block, the two letter digraph indicates basic arm or branch of service, i.e., IN means infantry.
    The investigating officer here signs his/her name “Major IO.” What does “IO” stand for? “Information Operations?” Is this the new propaganda career field? pl

  2. walrus says:

    I Had a closer look at the video again, you can just make out the RPG 7, that’s the end of the story as far as I’m concerned, I owe the Army an apology.

  3. Cliff White says:

    Seems to me as you said in your previous comment, the fault lies at the top. This is what happens when you have war-fighters using war-fighting methods in a situation that is _not_ a war. (Occupation? COIN? whatever) If we want peace, like the British in N. Ireland we may have to ignore the odd sniper, or put soldiers at greater risk killing snipers without massive fire support. If we want to leave Iraq, not killing civilians is more important than killing bad guys. This isn’t a war anymore – the fallout from 12 dead civilians is not worth the seizure of one RPG and an AK-47.

  4. JustPlainDave says:

    Near as I can tell it does stand for Information Operations and is considered a career field rather than a full-blown branch. Per globalsecurity it seems a pretty eclectic grouping of roles: “The functional areas in this career field are FA 24 (Information Systems Engineer), FA 30 (Information Operations), FA 34 (Strategic Intelligence), FA 40 (Space Operations), FA 46 (Public Affairs), FA 53 (Information Systems Management), and FA 57 (Simulation Operations).” Leastwise, that’s my pseudo-SWAG from this remove…

  5. optimax says:

    It is just coming out one member of the group had an RPG. I agree with Walrus. Carrying one in Portland would be suicide, let alone Iraq.

  6. hotrod says:

    Hmm – as Dave points out, Information Operations is a “Functional Area”. For the broader audience (COL Lang knows this better than I do, and was a FA 48 himself), as officers develop, some pursue the unit leadership track – that’s where your Battalion and Brigade commanders come from. Others pursue specialty tracks – Foreign Area Officers (FAOs, COL Lang’s field), Strategic Plans and Policy Officers, Public Affairs, Information Operations, etc etc.
    I guess the Investigating Officer might have used “IO” (for Info Ops) in his signature block, but I’ve never seen that. IIRC, the Investigating Officer was from the aviation bde. I’m not even sure if they get an assigned Info Ops guy/girl. “IO” is also used as shorthand for “investigating officer”, i.e. “I signed the appointment letter for the IO for the 15-6”. If he used it that way, though, he was being redundant.
    I’ve always seen officers use their basic branch in their sig block – so a Strategic Plans (FA 59) guy who had been Armor, would use LTC, AR in their block. I don’t play with field grades much, other than my bosses, so I could be wrong. I have no idea what 25-50 says you’re supposed to do.
    To slightly digress – Information Operations doesn’t strike me as being quite as nefarious as many have made it out to be, but by and large the field has descended into so much buzz word filled gobledy gook. BG Huba was de Czege (a retired officer, it’s a Hungarian name, and I’m sure I mangled it) was brought in to do some work on the doctrinal concepts (IIRC, by Petreaus while he was comanding the Combined Arms Center at Leavenworth). His work is published in Military Review and is really interesting, but there’s still a disconnect there in practice, whether or not the theory is improving. It would be immensely valuable to understand the complexities of narratives and how information flows, but IO in practice (in my experience) has meant half-assed hand bills that the locals laugh at. That’s me though.

  7. Patrick Lang says:

    Very cool. Real Army stuff. I had some other ones along the way. 18, 36, whatever. pl

  8. cliff white says:

    Hmm. One guy had an RPG, so it’s all okay huh? Killing 12 civilians to get one fool with an RPG makes sense? How does this sort of thing further our long-range goal of a stable Iraq?
    Would it have been okay to kill 50 civilians to get one RGP gunner? 100?
    Don’t you think that maybe there could have been some other way of dealing with one RPG gunner that wasn’t quite so destructive?
    The infantry _really_ couldn’t handle this one without all the airpower?
    I’ll say it again – this isn’t a war. You kill civilians, you make new insurgents. We can’t kill our way out of Iraq.

  9. walrus says:

    Cliff, with repect, the presence of an RPG and also a Machine gun, is proof positive that these are not “civilians” in the common meaning of the term.
    You would shoot anyone on sight seen with an RPG. It is also perfectly clear that anyone associating with a person carrying an RPG is a “supporter”.
    The Cameramen were not wearing their distinguishing vests. One took a photo of a Bradley Fighting vehicle that was at a range of 100m. at an intersection. He then “shared” that image with the RPG guy just before the Apache fired.
    Had the Apache not fired, the next “Gritty photos from the war zone” would have been of “heroic mujihadeen” using the RPG followed by photos of a burning Bradley AFV.
    The Van incident was unfortunate, nothing more.

  10. JustPlainDave says:

    @hotrod: If memory serves, the investigating officer for the AirCav was AV and the investigating officer for 2BCT was “IO”. I agree (assuming that IO actually means Information Operations in this context as speculated) that it’s not so nefarious as it might be considered by outside observers, though I would be extremely cautious of the type of implicit IO / PAFO[ish]* blending this sort of assignment might represent. I fear scenarios where IO finds itself more effective in terms of domestic “collateral” than it does in terms of effect on the target population.
    *PAO in your nomenclature, I believe.

  11. Patrick Lang says:

    As know officers get a lot of admin tasks like this without regard to branch. pl

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