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Combat Arms EU


Combat arms (or fighting arms in non-American parlance) are troops within national armed forces who participate in direct tactical ground combat. In general, they are units that carry or employ weapons, such as infantry, cavalry, and artillery units.[1] The use of multiple combat arms in mutually supporting ways is known as combined arms. In some armies, notably the British Army, artillery and combat engineer units are categorized as combat support, while in others, such as the U.S. Army and Canadian Army, they are considered part of the combat arms. Armored troops constitute a combat arm in name, although many have histories derived from cavalry units.




Combat Arms EU



Artillery is included as a combat arm primarily based on the history of employing cannons in close combat, and later in the anti-tank role until the advent of anti-tank guided missiles. The inclusion of special forces in some armed forces as a separate combat arm is often doctrinal because the troops of special forces units are essentially specialized infantry, often with historical links to ordinary light infantry units.


Currently, U.S. Army organizational doctrine uses the classification "Maneuver, Fires and Effects" (MFE) to group the combat arms branches, and four other branches, into Maneuver, Fires, Maneuver Support, and Special Operations Forces functional areas.[2]


Until the creation of the Army Aviation Branch in 1983, different branches of the Army were proponent branches for specific aircraft mission/type/model aircraft. For example, UH-1 and UH-60 assault helicopters fell under the Infantry Branch, UH-1 and UH-60 MEDEVAC units were Medical Service Corps, cargo aircraft units, such as the CH-47, CH-54, and CV-2/C-7 belonged to the Transportation Corps, OV-1 airplanes were under the Military Intelligence Corps, AH-1 and AH-64 attack helicopters, as well as OH-6 and OH-58 observation helicopters came under either Armor (for attack helicopter and air cavalry units) or Field Artillery for aerial rocket artillery (ARA) batteries. Only those Army Aviation units directly involved in armed combat such as air cavalry, attack helicopter, aerial rocket artillery, or assault helicopter operations were properly considered as "combat arms."


From 1952 until 1987, Army Special Forces (SF) were essentially a subset of the Infantry Branch with most of its officers and many of its enlisted soldiers coming from traditional infantry MOS backgrounds; however, in 1987 owing to a heightened emphasis on special operations, SF was established as a combat arms basic branch.


Illicit SALW continue to contribute to instability and violence in the EU, in its immediate neighbourhood, and in the rest of the world. Illicit small arms are fuelling armed violence and organised crime, global terrorism and conflicts, thwarting sustainable development and crisis management efforts. They destabilise entire regions, states and their societies, and increase the impact of terrorist attacks. This is why the Council is committed to preventing and curbing the illicit trade in SALW and their ammunition and is promoting accountability and responsibility with regard to their legal trade.


Meanwhile, governments and nongovernmental actors from the South tend to focus on the role and responsibility of the arms-producing countries (principally, but not exclusively, located in the North) in contributing to the proliferation and misuse of military-style small arms in their regions. Field research by Human Rights Watch and the UN Commission of Inquiry has confirmed that newly manufactured weapons continue to enter combat zones in Central Africa and elsewhere.


Currently, there is very little hard data available about the principal sources of small arms supply and trafficking. As a result, the relative importance of the legal versus the illegal trade in arming combatants and criminals around the globe is unknown. In the absence of basic information on the magnitude and destinations of state-sanctioned small arms supply, well-intentioned policymakers might be giving priority to complicated and perhaps costly policy options related to the illicit trade that would have less impact than relatively simple, straightforward measures relating to accountability in the legal trade.


Greater governmental transparency would also help evaluate the real impact of small arms on people and societies. Although widely assumed to be a significant factor, the impact of small arms supply on the outbreak, sustainment, or escalation of civil warfare has received no scientific investigation. The dearth of data on arms transfers currently hinders researchers wishing to conduct such studies.(7)


Increased transparency is possible at the global, regional, and national levels. The UN and regional security organizations can help facilitate the first two, but such initiatives are, of course, predicated on a willingness by governments to engage in greater openness. Policy analysts continually promote expansion of the UN Register of Conventional Arms to include small arms and light weapons as a desirable goal, but an expert panel reviewing the Register in 1997 decided against doing so, largely because the rationale for the Register is to indicate destabilizing buildups of major weapons systems.


Covert gun-running by governments to foreign insurgent groups has been a major source of small arms proliferation. Precisely because of the non-accountable nature of covert arms supply, such operations feed directly into the global black market. These transfers also, of course, fuel armed conflict, as they are generally intended to destabilize and topple governments.


Many other states reportedly have been engaging in covert destabilization programs, including small arms supply: Uganda in southern Sudan; Sudan in northern Uganda; alleged support by Turkey for rebels in Chechnya; alleged support by Russia for Kurdish guerrillas in Turkey; Pakistan in Kashmir; India in Sri Lanka. In many cases, these arms now pose a direct threat to the state that previously supplied them. And, while the shipments are intended to further the political and economic interests of the supplier state, once the conflict ends, the supplier almost never takes responsibility for either the cost of disarmament or the impact on civil societies when disarmament fails.


At a July 1998 gathering of 21 governments in Oslo to discuss small arms, the Canadian foreign ministry proposed a treaty banning military-style small arms transfers by governments to insurgent forces and other non-state actors. Thus far, the rough proposal has received little public support from either governments or NGOs. Some NGOs are concerned that a convention of this type would deny arms to non-state actors opposing repressive regimes, while those regimes could legally arm themselves against their people.(18) At a major small arms conference sponsored by the Belgian government in mid-October, the British government endorsed the proposal and expressed interest in working on the idea. Norwegian Foreign Minister Knut Vollebæk also has expressed cautious support.


(6) According to annual reports now required by the Commerce, State, and Defense Departments, in 1996 the State and Commerce Departments approved more than $590 million of small arms and shotgun exports, and the Department of Defense gave away 75,000 assault rifles and over 5,000 grenade launchers. Thousands more were sold by the Pentagon. Because other governments are not open about their light weapons sales and shipments, it is not possible to determine where the United States ranks in the global small arms trade.


(8) That study will be presented to the 27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in November 1999 and may lead to advocacy by the ICRC on the issue of small arms control similar to its previous engagement on landmines.


Courses offered at the Combined Arms Training Center range from classroom instruction on dealing with hazardous materials and weapons familiarization on nearby ranges, to teaching real-life driving skills to combat life-saving skills in simulated combat.


One of the key weaknesses in controls on the international arms trade is the absence or penury of national regulations on arms brokering activities. At present, only about sixteen countries in the world are known to control the activities of those negotiating, arranging or otherwise facilitating arms transfers between buyers and sellers. Moreover, unscrupulous brokers have demonstrated their ability to circumvent existing controls by exploiting differences in national approaches, or by simply conducting their activities from another country with lax or no controls at all. This weak link in arms control allows unscrupulous brokers to engage with impunity in undesirable or illicit activities such as arranging arms transfers to embargoed governments or non-state actors.


An important regional initiative to counter this phenomenon is the EU Common Position on the Control of Arms Brokering. Under this instrument, EU member states have committed themselves to establishing a clear legal framework for brokering activities taking place within their territory. By creating common standards, the EU Common Position thus represents a significant step forward. However, there remain concerns that these standards still fall short of what is required to effectively combat undesirable or illicit brokering activities.


The trainings are taking place at the Interpol Regional Bureau in Nairobi. Gideon Kimilu, the Interpol Regional Director, opened the training course by noting that, increasingly, firearms are becoming the weapon of choice for terrorists and criminals, including those engaging in wildlife crime.


The I-ARMS database is a useful tool for law enforcement agencies during their investigations. The database enables police officers to search for and track stolen, lost, trafficked or smuggled firearms. Police forces who recover firearms during a raid or arrest will be able to quickly verify whether the weapons in question have been stolen or trafficked - thereby strengthening their evidence against suspects and criminals. 041b061a72


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