The Brief is Mighter than the Vest
Bing and Owen West report from Iraq, entitled The Laptop Is Mightier Than the Sword "The war in Iraq would be over in a week if the insurgents wore uniforms. Instead, they hide in plain sight, and Iraqi and American soldiers have no means of checking the true identity and history of anyone they stop. This is inexcusable. In Vietnam, the mobility of the Vietcong guerrilla forces was eventually crippled by a laborious hamlet-level census completed by hand in 1968. Biometric tracking and databases have since made extraordinary advances, yet our vaunted technical experts have failed at this elementary task in Iraq."
The other major defect we’ve seen in our military strategy is the consistent release of captured insurgents. Imprisonment is the dominant military weapon for quelling this insurgency. Vietnam was a shooting war; Iraq is a police arrest war. The insurgents learned years ago not to engage in firefights with American troops. American troops in Vietnam in 1968, for example, found that they killed 13 enemies for every one captured; in Iraq, one enemy is killed for every 10 captured.
Yet, according to Pentagon records, more than 85 percent of the suspected Sunni insurgents and Shiite militiamen detained are soon set free. The troops call it “catch and release.” The American and Iraqi jails now hold about 40,000 prisoners — by some estimates just half the number Saddam Hussein released from prison in the mass exodus of 2002.
Maybe it's not the teeth that are at fault, but the tail. The whole massive weight of lawyers, procedures, politics and media that have become the modern day sutler train of armies.