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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 April 2006, 11:31 GMT 12:31 UK
US in Iraq 'emulating Hollywood'
Brigadier Sharpe said the early US regime in Iraq was "autocratic"
US troops on patrol in Ramadi
A British Army officer has criticised US generals for trying to emulate film stars, a newspaper has reported.

Brigadier Andrew Sharpe, who has worked in Iraq, said there was a "strong streak of Hollywood" in the US approach, the Daily Telegraph said.

His paper on Britain's influence on US foreign relations was for a course at the Royal College of Defence Studies.

The Ministry of Defence said it was his "personal view" and did not reflect views of the UK government or military.

An MoD spokeswoman added that it was the aim of the college course to "stimulate debate".

The thesis was published as part of an 11-month course attended by leading military figures.

Brig Sharpe wrote that an important part of being a successful US officer was to be able to combine the "real and acted heroics" of Audie Murphy, "the newsreel antics" of General Douglas MacArthur and the "movie performances" of Hollywood actors, the Telegraph said.

'Hearts and minds'

The brigadier suggested "loud voices, full body armour, wrap-around sunglasses, air strikes and daily broadcasts from shoulder-holster wearing brigadier-generals proudly announcing how many Iraqis have been killed by US forces today" was "no hearts and minds winning tool".

The officer also described the early US regime in Iraq as an interim dictatorship" and "autocratic", the paper reported.

Brig Sharpe said that in contrast, British servicemen were "undemonstrative, phlegmatic and pragmatic", were keen to interact with locals and patrolled on foot where possible.

He argued that the British rmy's centuries of experience gave it a marked edge over the Americans in insurgency operations, and that senior British officers should continue with their moderating influence in Baghdad, the Telegraph added.

Brig Sharpe said that British officers should be in positions of influence alongside US officers and "practically influence the decisions, plans, and conduct on the ground of US adventures in world policing".

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