There are specific entrapment scenarios where it could be useful, especially dealing with higher level munitions. The ones described in the OP and the subsequent Theodore Rexitizations are not those things. What they are is a flagrant subversion of our rules of engagement in a war where we don’t even report body counts most of the time (not that they would matter), so I can only infer the purpose was to terrorize the local citizenry. That’d be the part where Stephen Colbert would clap slowly. Bravo!
The truth is that the stockpiles of weaponry in Iraq, from what I gather (LK might come and <citation needed> me), there were massive stockpiles of weapons and ammunition. Iran’s sponsorship means that this flood of weaponry isn’t coming down.
Yeah. There are problems in insurgent supplies, especially in terms of quality, compatibility, training, and location, location, location (of supplies), but none of those are capitalized upon by the tactic in the OP.
The Iraqis simply don’t NEED the ammunition being left out on the field. Isn’t the mainstay caliber for the U.S. forces different from what the Iraqis would use? 7.62 vs 5.56 or something like that?
Something like that. The attacks that succeed nowadays use small arms just for cover and distraction (and personal defense after the fact). The main focus is the weapons that can really hurt us, anyway.
Furthermore, the fake ammo would be found out, if indeed someone meaning to USE it in the first place, in about the time that it’d take to shoot the neighbor’s goat.
The bottom line is that this ‘bait’ concept was probably effective for about a day. And, what’s more, it probably led to innocent deaths rather than actual ‘kills’, so to speak. With all due respect to the American Forces on the field, but it takes more than a yahoo with a Kalishnikov to kill a marine.
You can what if it to death. The point is that it represents an obvious deviation from what is understood as the hostile intent/hostile act philosophy guiding modern American rules of engagement, and they are not even bothering to come up with utilitarian reasons for it. That’s a goddamned shame. The rules work; this isn’t Beirut circa 1983.