Libya: You Fight Like You Train

Continuing problems with the coalition operation in Libya reinforce an old military adage: You fight like you train.

Continuing problems with the coalition operation in Libya reinforce an old military adage: You fight like you train.

Yesterday, we learned that Swedish jets were grounded because the air base didn’t stock the right type of fuel. Today, we learned Libyan rebels were painting their vehicles pink after yet another incident in which NATO mistakenly fired on them, mistaking them for Gadaffi forces.

At the headline level, at least, both stories were funny. But they both reveal what happens in coalition warfare when forces who have not previously trained together are suddenly fighting on the same team.

I explore this in some detail in my New Atlanticist post: “Libya SNAFU: You Get What You Train For.”

FILED UNDER: Middle East, Military Affairs, Quick Takes, World Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Southern Hoosier says:

    …..what happens in coalition warfare when forces who have not previously trained together are suddenly fighting on the same team.

    The problem is, most of the Libyan rebels have no military training. But training is just the first step. You also need to build of camaraderie so men trust each other and fight as a team. Then you need a chain of command, with a cadre the men trust. You can’t take a mob, hand them weapons and except them to win many battles