Forgive me if I'm not getting all of the details exactly right, but:

In the first two tours in American Sniper, the soldiers traveled in armored tanks, moving slowly, flanked by 10-20 soldiers per tank, with multiple snipers watching and covering them. They very slowly and deliberately made each move.

In the start of the third tour, the soldiers were traveling in a "regular" car, driving pretty casually just behind the car that the enemy was in. The enemy knew they were following, and could turn around and start shooting at any time (and they did). At one point, the notice some enemies up on top of a building and their reaction is along the lines of "Oh hey, look, how about that? There are some guys up there."

In general it just seemed shocking to me that a military operation would take place with such a cavalier attitude. I was completely confused about how closely they were following behind the enemy vehicle, completely in open site, in a vehicle which offered them little protection.

Was this an accurate portrayal of war? Were the soldiers being reckless in their pursuit? If yes, why were they being reckless? If not, why was this less reckless than it seemed (to me) to be?


1 Answer 1


The story moves through the different tours that Chris Kyle made during the Iraq war. There might have been several operations during all those tours and it is not possible to show what happened in each and every operation and what was the attitude of soldiers in each and every mission.

What I am trying to say here is that there are several factors which vary from mission to mission for example strength to be used, risk involved, priority etc

So even during the third tour there might have been missions which were handled with a lot of force and which could be executed very carefully without taking much risk for example : looking for a hidden enemy in an area already secured by the US armed forces. Also there must have been missions which requires high risk taking like going into an area which has enemy's stronghold and executing a wanted person. So what might seem reckless, could actually be risk-taking i.e. you don't have the privilege be too cautious.

Also please note that the third tour is also supposed to demonstrate the mental and physical tiredness of the troops, more so for likes of Chris Kyle who were continuously involved in the war for a long time. What was the third tour for Chris Kyle might have been first tour for many soldiers, but the story unfolds from Chris Kyle's point of view so we see a weary group of soldiers to emphasize how Chris Kyle must have been feeling.

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